For the past fifty years, Paul Theroux has travelled to the far corners of the earth – to China, India, Africa, the Pacific Islands, South America, Russia, and elsewhere – and brought them to life in his cool, exacting prose. In Deep South he turns his gaze to a region much closer to his home.
Travelling through North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas, Paul Theroux writes of the stunning landscapes he discovers – the deserts, the mountains, the Mississippi – and above all, the lives of the people he meets.
The South is a place of contradictions. There is the warm, open spirit of the soul food cafes, found in every town, no matter how small. There is the ruined grandeur of numberless ghostly towns, long abandoned by the industries that built them. Also present are the state gun shows and the close-knit, subtly forlorn tribe of people who attend and run them. Deep in the heart of his native country, Theroux discovers a land more profoundly foreign than anything he has previously experienced.
About the Author
Paul Theroux was born and educated in the United States. After graduating from university in 1963, he travelled first to Italy and then to Africa, where he worked as a Peace Corps teacher at a bush school in Malawi, and as a lecturer at Makerere University in Uganda. In 1968 he joined the University of Singapore and taught in the Department of English for three years. Throughout this time he was publishing short stories and journalism, and wrote a number of novels. Among these were Fong and the Indians, Girls at Play and Jungle Lovers, all of which appear in one volume, On the Edge of the Great Rift (Penguin, 1996).
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