Paul Theroux, born 10 April 1941, is an American travel writer and novelist. The Great Railway Bazaar is his most famous work of non-fiction. He is best known for his novel The Mosquito Coast. He is the father of British authors and documentary makers Louis Theroux and Marcel Theroux.
Quotes on writing:
- Writing is pretty crummy on the nerves.
- Fiction gives us a second chance that life denies us.
- The more you write, the more you’re capable of writing.
- A novel captures essence that is not possible in any other form.
- You can’t write about a friend, you can only write about a former friend.
- I’m constantly running across people who have never heard of books I think they should read.
- Fiction writing, and the reading of it, and book buying, have always been the activities of a tiny minority of people, even in the most-literate societies.
- I know there are writers who feel unhappy with domesticity and who even manufacture domestic turmoil in order to have something to write about. With me, though, the happier I feel, the better I write.
- Mark Twain was a great traveler and he wrote three or four great travel books. I wouldn’t say that I’m a travel novelist but rather a novelist who travels – and who uses travel as a background for finding stories of places.
- I can’t predict how reading habits will change. But I will say that the greatest loss is the paper archive – no more a great stack of manuscripts, letters, and notebooks from a writer’s life, but only a tiny pile of disks, little plastic cookies where once were calligraphic marvels.
- Many aspects of the writing life have changed since I published my first book, in the 1960s. It is more corporate, more driven by profits and marketing, and generally less congenial – but my day is the same: get out of bed, procrastinate, sit down at my desk, try to write something.
- Reading alters the appearance of a book. Once it has been read, it never looks the same again, and people leave their individual imprint on a book they have read. One of the pleasures of reading is seeing this alteration on the pages, and the way, by reading it, you have made the book yours.