Paul Theroux on New Yorker Radio Hour (Malawi)

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Bill Preston (Thailand 1977-80)
A short interview was this morning on New Yorker Radio Hour with Paul Theroux (Malawi 1963-65) talking about his new book, including some insights into his family relations, how he became a writer, his love of travel (he doesn’t mention PC directly), his anonymity in Hawaii and abroad. In case you missed it:

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  • The interview maintains the same honesty, which borders on cruelty, that can be found in his writing. I detect no apology, for example, no sorrow, no bitterness, only hard truth in what he says of being cast into the wide world by a family situation that made him unhappy. Asked ‘Was it his mother that made him a writer?’ Theroux responds:

    ‘My mother drove me away from home. I wasn’t happy in this big family. And I fantasized about going away. So I think going away made me a writer. My mother really wanted me to go away. When I told my parents that I was going to Africa their faces were wreathed in smiles.’

    There’s plenty of self-deprecation and laughter in the banter that follows the revelation. But its a telling honesty about how Theroux perceives family, and maybe explains his tendency to go it alone.

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