Paul Theroux Quotes

Paul Theroux


Friendship is also about liking a person for their failings, their weakness. It's also about mutual help, not about exploitation.

Paul Theroux


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.

Paul Theroux


The moment that changed me for ever was the moment my first child was born. I was happy, filled with hope, and thought, 'Now I understand the whole point of work, of life, of love.'

Paul Theroux


I grew up in an era of thinking of travel as escape. The idea that you could conceivably have a new life, go somewhere, fall in love, have little children under the palm trees.

Paul Theroux


The United States is a world unto itself. We have mountains, we have deserts, we have a river that equals the Yangtze River, that equals the Nile. We have the greatest cities in the world - among the greatest cities in the world.

Paul Theroux


I was raised in a large family. The first reason for my travel was to get away from my family. I knew that I wanted to be a writer, but I didn't want people to ask me questions about it.

Paul Theroux


Writing was in my mind from the time I was in high school, but more, the idea that I would be a doctor. I really wanted to be a medical doctor, and I had various schemes: one was to be a psychiatrist, another was tropical medicine.

Paul Theroux


Travel is glamorous only in retrospect.

Paul Theroux


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.

Paul Theroux


I should start by saying that traveling in the States is a bit like traveling in Asia. You need it, it helps to have an introduction - that there is a certain network.

Paul Theroux


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

Paul Theroux


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.

Paul Theroux


One of the things the 'Tao of Travel' shows is how unforthcoming most travel writers are, how most travelers are. They don't tell you who they were traveling with, and they're not very reliable about things that happened to them.

Paul Theroux


Painters strike me as having warm uncomplicated friendships and probably more natural generosity than the practitioners of any other art. Perhaps this is because painting is such a portable, flexible thing.

Paul Theroux


What strikes me about high-school reunions is the realization that these are people one has known one's whole life.

Paul Theroux