Friday, 1 December 2017


Paul Theroux as a child sitting on his mother's lap with brothers Alexander, left, and Eugene in 1941.

The American travel writer Paul Theroux has written a novel called Mother Land, which is about Paul Theroux and his relationship with his manipulative mother.

Paul Theroux is the author of excellent travel books such as 'Kingdom by the Sea' and The Great Railway Bazaar.

It is suspected that he is an asset of the CIA.

"The Great Railway Bazaar reinvented the travel narrative genre by focusing more on the people met on the journey rather than the sights.

"Theroux returned from the journey to find that his wife had taken up with another man."

Paul Theroux

In Mother Land, the narrator, Jay, is, like Paul Theroux, the twice-divorced father of two sons 'with another son given up for adoption.' 

Paul Theroux was married to Englishwoman Anne Castle from 1967 to 1993.

They have two sons: Marcel and Louis, both of whom are writers and television presenters.

Paul Theroux apparently had an older son from a college relationship; he and his unmarried partner are said to have given the boy up for adoption.

Paul Theroux has been married to Sheila Donnelly since 1995.[11]

In Mother Land, Paul Theroux "creates an unsparing portrait of Mother, who has fostered malicious backbiting and animosity among her seven children."

The plot covers "decades of the fractious lives of middle-aged siblings ceaselessly engaged in insults and rivalry to gain their mother's favor."

Fiction Book Review: Mother Land by Paul Theroux.

Alexander Theroux.

According to Paul Theroux's brother Alexander Theroux:

Paul affects a "fake British accent", is a "possession snob", a "grumpy and oddly fussy traveller", has "bowel worries", eats prunes for breakfast and "once made enquiries to me about platform shoes".

He is "a writer of venomous letters, an inveterate magpie, a rumpled dresser, an egotistical, unsettled eccentric, extremely critical, occasionally funny, a sometime friend and all-time know-it-all".

WHO IS PAUL THEROUX? | The Independent

Paul Theroux has admitted to being a loner who liked to shoot small animals - an interesting tendency often shared by serial killers.

WHO IS PAUL THEROUX? | The Independent

In Mother Land, "the brothers sisters are locked into a ceaseless round of bitching and snitching, fighting and backbiting. 

"Mother is a memorable horror: needy, unappeasable, furtive, manipulative, mendacious. 

"She is like a totalitarian dictator or a primitive idol who needs to be propitiated. 

"The family is like a savage tribe."

Mother Land by Paul Theroux — Cape of no hope - Financial Times

Stephen King in the New York Times has described Mother Land as "an exercise in self-regarding arrogance and self-pity."

Louis Theroux, son of Paul Theroux

Paul Theroux, in Mother Land, writes: 

"To the world at large my mother was a resourceful and hardworking woman who had raised seven children … the matriarch of a big happy family … 

"What the world knew of us was untrue. 

"We shut the door of our big, respectable-looking house and withdrew to the dilapidated interior … backing into it like rats protecting their nest, baring our yellow teeth, not just keeping the world out but actively engaged in the hopeless self-deception of keeping up appearances..."

Theroux writes of Mother: "She had a predator's eye and nose for a person's weakness and was remorseless in exploiting it."

Mother Land by Paul Theroux review

Paul Theroux wrote The Mosquito Coast starring River Phoenix

Jay's mother has suppressed Jay's confidence.

Jay's mother "has altered the course of Jay's life, and waged a lifelong war against either him and his siblings..." 

Mother is "spiteful, devious, petty, mean and treacherous... 

"Her methods of control are frequently likened by Jay to those of a brutal dictator

Mother Land by Paul Theroux

Paul Theroux writes: "If you’re looking for a theme in the book, or a point in the book, I wrote the book because over a 10-year period there were issues in my family that I was trying to understand."

In 'Mother Land,' Novelist Paul Theroux Creates A Portrait Of Himself

"Jay's family members callously scuttle relationships with two of his love interests, alienate the illegitimate son who comes back into his life decades after his birth, and derive delight and vindication from his failings."

Talking, Not Listening: Paul Theroux Focuses on Family

1 comment:

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