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Think Audio: Author Paul Theroux
by Jerome Weeks 27 Jul 2009

Novelist and travel writer Paul Theroux pretty much re-invented travel writing in the ’70s with his acclaimed books, The Great Railway Bazaar and The Old Patagonian Express. For his latest, Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, he re-traced the trip across Europe and Asia that he took 35 years ago for the Railway Bazaar. Theroux will deliver the keynote address Friday at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference. THINK guest host Jerome Weeks talks to Theroux about travel food, high-speed trains in Texas and going the wrong way through Europe.


Paul Theroux is the dean of American travel writers: literate, wide-ranging, observant and more than a touch acerbic. His most recent book, Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, finds  him re-tracing the trip across Europe and Asia he took 35 years ago for The Great Railway Bazaar, the book that launched his travel career. Ghost Train to the Eastern Star will be released in paperback in two weeks.

In addition to his travel writings, Theroux is a prolific novelist. Several of his books have been adapted into films, including The Mosquito Coast and Saint Jack. He has also written criticism, children’s books and short-story collections.

Presented by the University of North Texas, the Mayborn Literary Non-fiction Conference promotes the art of narrative non-fiction — the writing of biographies, histories, crime stories and adventure tales. Theroux will deliver the keynote address Friday on “The World is Elsewhere: A Life in Search of Stories.”

  • Paul Theroux’s interview delighted me to now know that he is so personable. After reading so many of his books, I was truly under the impression that he would not welcome a fellow traveler approaching him to discuss their common journey. I have found that fellow travelers tend to form a cult of independent wanderers when they meet in passing. Now, I know that Paul is truly a fellow traveler who would welcome sharing the adventure.

  • John Bowen

    I wonder how many laguages Paul knows…This guy is my hero…I finally know how to pronounce his name if I ever meet him…I think it would be intimidating…Thanks for having this interview on the net.