Paul Theroux
Paul Edward Theroux is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 travel writer and novelist, whose best known work of travel writing is perhaps The Great Railway Bazaar
The Great Railway Bazaar
The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train Through Asia is a 1975 travelogue written by the American novelist Paul Theroux. It recounts Theroux's four-month journey across Asia by train, travelling through Europe, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, before finally returning via the...

(1975). He has also published numerous works of fiction, some of which were made into feature films. He was awarded the 1981 James Tait Black Memorial Prize
James Tait Black Memorial Prize
Founded in 1919, the James Tait Black Memorial Prizes are among the oldest and most prestigious book prizes awarded for literature written in the English language and are Britain's oldest literary awards...

 for his novel The Mosquito Coast. He is also the father of British authors and documentary makers Louis Theroux
Louis Theroux
Louis Sebastian Theroux is an English broadcaster best known for his Gonzo style journalism on the television series Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends and When Louis Met.... His career started off in journalism and bears influences of notable writers in his family such as his father, Paul Theroux and...

 and Marcel Theroux
Marcel Theroux
Marcel Raymond Theroux is a British novelist and broadcaster. He wrote The Stranger in The Earth and The Confessions of Mycroft Holmes: a paper chase for which he won the Somerset Maugham Award in 2002. His third novel, A Blow to the Heart, was published by Faber in 2006. His fourth, Far North was...

, the brother of authors Alexander Theroux
Alexander Theroux
Alexander Theroux is an American novelist, poet, and essayist.He was born in Medford, Massachusetts. His brother is Paul Theroux. He studied at Harvard University and Yale University...

 and Peter Theroux
Peter Theroux
Peter Theroux is an American writer and translator. He studied English literature at Harvard University, and spent a year at the American University in Cairo...

, and uncle to the American actor and screenwriter Justin Theroux.
Theroux was born in Medford
Medford, Massachusetts
Medford is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, in the United States, on the Mystic River, five miles northwest of downtown Boston. In the 2010 U.S. Census, Medford's population was 56,173...

, Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

, the son of Catholic parents; his mother, Anne (née Dittami), was Italian American
Italian American
An Italian American , is an American of Italian ancestry. The designation may also refer to someone possessing Italian and American dual citizenship...

, and his father, Albert Eugene Theroux, was French-Canadian.

Travel is glamorous only in retrospect.

Observer (London, October 7, 1979)

The realization that he is white in a black country, and respected for it, is the turning point in the expatriate’s career. He can either forget it, or capitalize on it. Most choose the latter.

Tarzan Is an Expatriate, quoted in Patrick Marnham's Dispatches from Africa, ch. 1 (1981)

The Peace Corps|Peace Corps is a sort of Howard Johnson’s|Howard Johnson’s on the main drag into maturity.

Sunrise with Seamonsters (1985)

I have always disliked being a man. The whole idea of manhood in America is pitiful, in my opinion. This version of masculinity is a little like having to wear an ill-fitting coat for one's entire life (by contrast, I imagine femininity to be an oppressive sense of nakedness).

"Being a Man" (1983), from Sunrise with Seamonsters: Travels and Discoveries, 1964-84 (Houghton Mifflin, 1986, ISBN 0-395-41501-2, 384 pages), p. 309

Hawaii is not a state of mind, but a state of grace.

Observer (London, October 29, 1989)

Death is an endless night so awful to contemplate that it can make us love life and value it with such passion that it may be the ultimate cause of all joy and all art.

Hockney’s Alphabet, D is for Death, ed. Stephen Spender (1991)