Paul Theroux

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Paul Theroux

Paul Theroux in 2008. Born 10 April 1941 (age 70) Medford, Massachusetts Occupatio Novelist, Travel writer, short n story writer, literary critic Nationalit American y Period 1967Influences[show] Paul Edward Theroux (born April 10, 1941) is an American travel writer and novelist, whose best known work of travel writing is perhaps The Great Railway Bazaar (1975). He has also published numerous works of fiction, some of which were made into feature films. He was awarded the 1981 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel The Mosquito Coast. He is also the father of British authors and documentary makers Louis Theroux and Marcel Theroux, the brother of authors Alexander Theroux and Peter Theroux, and uncle to the American actor and screenwriter Justin Theroux.

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Early life Education Life and career Literary work

followed by the University of Maine. Albert Eugene Theroux. in Orono (1959-60) and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He was declared persona non grata by Banda in Malawi for sympathizing with Yatuta Chisiza.A. his mother.• • • • • • • • • 5 Personal life 6 Controversy 7 Select awards and honours 8 Adaptations 9 Novels and short story collections 10 Non-fiction 11 Other writings including magazine articles 12 References 13 External links [edit] Early life Theroux was born in Medford. The Peace Corps was a new program. [edit] Life and career After he finished his university education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. in English in 1963.[1] He was a Boy Scout and ultimately achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. . it had sent its first volunteers overseas in 1961. was Italian American. and his father. [edit] Education Theroux was educated at Medford High School in Massachusetts. the son of Catholic parents. For this Theroux was expelled from Malawi and thrown out of the Peace Corps. where he wrote for the magazine Transition (including the article "Nkrumah the Leninist Czar"). He then moved to Uganda to teach at Makerere University. where he obtained a B. Theroux joined the Peace Corps in 1963 as a teacher in Malawi. he helped a political opponent of Prime Minister Hastings Banda escape to Uganda. While there. was French-Canadian. Massachusetts. [2] His later novel Jungle Lovers was banned in Malawi for many years. Anne (née Dittami).

including descriptions of traveling by train from Boston to Argentina (The Old Patagonian Express).[5] He is married to Sheila Donnelly (since November 18. During his time in Uganda.[3][4] He has since written a number of other travel books. then a visiting scholar at the university. He was formerly married to Anne Castle from 1967 to 1993. Waldo. first in Dorset. He published several more novels over the next few years. an angry mob at a demonstration threatened to overturn the car in which his pregnant wife was riding. He moved to London in 1972. laced with a heavy streak of irony. both of . [edit] Personal life Theroux resides in Hawaii and Cape Cod. Theroux began his three-decade friendship with novelist V. Naipaul that ended abruptly after thirty years. He has two sons with his first wife – Marcel Theroux and Louis Theroux. [edit] Literary work His first novel. walking around the United Kingdom (the poorly received The Kingdom By The Sea). which was set in that country. 1995). and then in south London with his wife and two young children. Massachusetts. visiting China (Riding the Iron Rooster). On his return to Malawi many years later. he found that this latter novel. This incident may have contributed[citation needed] to his decision to leave Africa. he settled in the United Kingdom. kayaking in the South Pacific (The Happy Isles Of Oceania).While at Makerere. was published during his time in Uganda and was moderately successful. before setting off on an epic journey by train from Great Britain to Japan and back again.S. was still banned. Other non-fiction by Theroux includes Sir Vidia's Shadow. As a traveler he is noted for his rich descriptions of people and places. or even misanthropy. a story told in his book Dark Star Safari. and which has since become a classic in the genre.A. After two years of teaching at the National University of Singapore. including Fong and the Indians and Jungle Lovers. His account of this journey was published as The Great Railway Bazaar. an account of his personal and professional friendship with Nobel laureate V. his first major success as a travel writer. Naipaul. S. U. S. He moved again to Singapore. and traveling from Cairo to Cape Town (Dark Star Safari).

His novel "St. He also has an older son from a college relationship who was given up for adoption. among other things.S. My Other Life (1996). Jack" (1972). an Introduction to His Work (1972). in which a very unpleasant character with my name said and did things that I have never said or done. Swahili. “Burgess” arrives drunk and cruelly mocks the lawyer. Theroux's novel "Jungle Lovers" was banned by the ruling government in Malawi for many years. the wife character is renamed Alison and reference to her work at the BBC is excised.whom are writers and television presenters. describes a dinner at the narrator's home with author Anthony Burgess and a book-hoarding philistine lawyer who nags the narrator for an introduction to the great writer. Greene's age at the time . Burgess. The magazine later published a letter from Anne Theroux denying that Burgess was ever a guest in her home and expressing admiration for him. who introduces himself as “a fan”. having once interviewed the real Burgess for the BBC: “I was dismayed to read in your August 7th edition a story … by Paul Theroux.S. Spanish. Slightly Foxed: Fact and Fiction". Chichewa. "A. gushing portrait of the same author in V. events in their relationship over the 26 years between the two books colored the perspective of the later book. Naipaul. Theroux's sometimes caustic portrait of Nobel Laureate V. a story originally published in The New Yorker magazine (August 7.”[6] When the story was incorporated into Theroux’s novel. The narrator’s wife is named Anne and she shrewishly refuses to help with the dinner. and acquaintances in some of his fiction. Theroux has occasionally disconcerted his readers. was banned by the ruling government of Singapore for thirty years. [7] The novels were banned because the governing parties thought them to be unacceptably critical of the local government's leader(s) and/or to cast the country in an unfavorable light. his family. In 2010 an introduction written by Paul Theroux for a paperback edition of Graham Greene's Journey Without Maps had to be substantially revised after numerous errors were discovered. French. Theroux alludes to his ability to speak Italian. Theroux got wrong. In his books. 1995). and Mandarin Chinese. Naipaul in his memoir Sir Vidia's Shadow (1998) contrasts with his earlier. [edit] Controversy By including versions of himself.

Toronto. "I need happiness in order to write well. the opposite.being depressed merely produces depressing literature in my case". he explains (speaking during a live interview by CBC Radio presenter Eleanor Wachtel on stage at the 30th International Festival of Authors. In some African countries it is international aid agencies that provide the most consistent source of employment . In some ways the situation is even worse than he says . people who wish to convince the world of their worth. as Theroux says.[8] However.he travelled to Liberia. But the majority of employees of international aid agencies in Africa."[9] Theroux has described himself as an "angry and agitated young man" in his early twenties when he felt he had to escape the confines of Massachusetts and a hostile U.S.not to mention celebrities and charity concerts . "I'm not an aid worker. 2009) . he never actually visits an aid project or the office of an aid organisation. The problem is not... The problem is that Theroux knows next to nothing about it.".. if anything. How come he didn't notice this? Because. at almost all levels. No Africans are involved'. because 'the only people dishing up the food and doling out the money are foreigners.. Aid is a failure. On December 15. It's not that Theroux is wrong to criticise the empire of aid. and Angelina Jolie as "mythomaniacs. October 25. accusing him of ignorance." Theroux. but I was working in Kenya myself at about the time Theroux passed through . adds that "the impression that Africa is fatally troubled and can be saved only by outside help . are Africans. who lived in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer and a university teacher. foreign policy. that Africans are not involved. details of Joseph Conrad's service on the Congo River and the name of the Liberian president who was overthrown by a coup in 1980. He has described himself as having "the disposition of a hobbit" and remains optimistic about most of his subject matter.. 2005 the New York Times published an op-ed piece by Theroux called "The Rock Star's Burden" criticizing Bono. on publication of his Africa travelogue Dark Star Safari. it is. when he joined the Peace Corps and went to Africa.. despite his hissy fits about white people in white cars who won't give him lifts. reviewer John Ryle in The Guardian disagreed with Theroux's opinions on international aid. in 2002... he says.is a destructive and misleading conceit. Brad Pitt.

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