A Paul Theroux (Malawi) short story in The New Yorker & a novel coming In April



In the current issue of The New Yorker (December 7, 2020) is a short story by Paul Theroux (Malawi 1963-65) entitled “Dietrologia”. (DYET-troh-loh-GEE-ah).

Dietrologic is a fairly recent entry in Italian vocabulary, only a few decades old. It means “behindology.” The word, which is often used with skepticism and even derision, describes the mental habits of the practicioner of this non-science, the dietrologo who regularly sees something behind events as they are presented. We call this “paranoia.” (p 58)


Paul also has a novel coming out in April entitled Under the Wave at Waimea

The plot: Now in his sixties, big-wave surfer Joe Sharkey has passed his prime and is losing his “stoke.” The younger surfers around the breaks on the north shore of Oahu still call him the Shark, but his sponsors are looking elsewhere. When Joe accidentally hits and kills a man near Waimea while driving home from a bar after one too many, it seems he’ll never rebound. Under the direction of his devoted girlfriend Olive, he throws himself into uncovering his victim’s story, giving shape to the unidentified ashes now in the Honolulu morgue. Maybe in embarking on this quest, Olive thinks, Joe can find his vitality again. But what they find in Max Mulgrave is anything but expected: a shared history — and refuge in the waves.


Under the Wave at Waimea
by Paul Theroux (Malawi 1963-65)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
416 pages
$15.99 (Kindle); $28.00 (Hardcover); $28.00 (Audio CD)

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