Novelist and travel writer Paul Theroux talks about his love for Mexico, road trips and Greenland
This week novelist and travel writer Paul Theroux checks into our travel Q&A.
He reflects on his favourite foreign country to visit, sheds light on the location that inspired his latest novel and recalls his very first trip abroad, back in the 1960s.
EARLIEST HOLIDAY MEMORY?
Spending a week at a cottage by the sea in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, as a boy. We didn’t have a refrigerator and I remember the rubber-caped iceman coming round every few days with big blocks of ice that he slung on his back.
Novelist and travel writer Paul Theroux (pictured) checks in to our travel Q&A
FIRST TIME ABROAD?
After graduating from university in the summer of 1963 I went to a town in Italy called Urbino to teach English — my students were all young women, the food was delicious and the town was wonderful. It was probably my best ever job.
THE GREAT RAILWAY BAZAAR MADE YOUR NAME AS A WRITER – ARE YOU STILL A TRAIN BUFF?
I’m more of a driver. My last couple of books were inspired by road trips. With a car you can go anywhere, any time.
IS YOUR NEW NOVEL INSPIRED BY ANYWHERE IN PARTICULAR?
It’s the story of feuding brothers in a small town much like the one I grew up in, Medford, Massachusetts, but I’ve called it Littleford in my book thinking, ‘That will fool them!’
After graduating from university in the summer of 1963 Paul went to a town in Italy called Urbino (above) to teach English. ‘It was probably my best ever job,’ he says
WHICH OF YOUR BOOKS ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
The Mosquito Coast, which was turned into a movie, and my V. S. Naipaul memoir, Sir Vidia’s Shadow.
FAVOURITE FOREIGN COUNTRY?
Mexico, because I can drive there from my home in Cape Cod. It’s rich in history, I love the food, I have friends there and I speak Spanish. I’m particularly fond of Oaxaca and Mexico City.
A place I’ve long fantasised about visiting, Greenland — somewhere you hardly ever read about. I’d love to go kayaking there.