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Paul Theroux
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    (April 10, 1941- )
    Born in Medford, Massachusetts
    Novelist and travel writer
    Wrote the novels ‘Waldo’ (1967),’Jungle Lovers’ (1971), ‘Saint Jack’ (1973), ’Picture Palace’ (1978), ‘The Mosquito Coast’ (1981), ‘Doctor Slaughter’ (1984),’The Chicago Loop’ (1990), ‘Millroy the Magician’ (1993), ‘Kowloon Tong’ (1997) and ‘Blinding Light’ (2006)
    Wrote the non-fiction works ‘The Great Railway Bazaar’ (1975), ‘The Kingdom by the Sea’ (1983),’Riding the Iron Rooster’ (1988), ‘The Happy Isles of Oceana’ (1992), ‘The Pillars of Hercules’ (1995), ‘Dark Star Safari’ (2002), ‘Ghost Train to the Eastern Star’ (2008) and ‘Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads’ (2015)
    Wrote the children’s stories ‘A Christmas Card’ (1978) and ‘London Snow: A Christmas Story’ (1979)
    Father of documentary filmmakers Marcel and Louis Theroux
    Uncle of actor Justin Theroux
    He caught gonorrhea from a prostitute in Malawi while serving in the Peace Corps.
    He was thrown out of the Peace Corps after getting tangentially involved in a plot to overthrow President Hastings Banda. (He started out by agreeing to help the former headmaster of the school where he taught by transporting the headmaster’s mother, car and good china to Uganda, and eventually wound up delivering coded messages from an exile group to a contact inside Malawi.)
    Until the two authors’ falling out, he was so devoted to V.S. Naipaul that one of his girlfriends complained that he cared more for Naipaul than her.
    He alienated friends and relatives by including them as characters in his work, resulting, for example, in his ex-wife Anne writing to The New Yorker, 'I was dismayed to read in your August 7th edition a story … by Paul Theroux, in which a very unpleasant character with my name said and did things that I have never said or done.'
    He asked Barack Obama to pardon ‘American TalibanJohn Walker Lindh.
    Michael McCone, the director of the Peace Corps in Malawi, said he had been ‘an outstanding teacher.’
    He received the Patron’s Medal from the Royal Geographic Society. (‘All my heroes have won the Founder’s or the Patron’s Medal: Wilfred Thesiger, Scott of the Antarctic, Henry Morton Stanley, Captain Richard Burton.’)
    He said, ‘People say writing is hard. That’s very unfair to those who are doing real jobs.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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