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Fresh Air Fiend: Travel Writings, 1985-2000

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Fresh Air Fiend: Travel Writings, 1985-2000 Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Fresh Air Fiend is Theroux's first collection devoted exclusively to travel writing, for which the author of such classics as The Great Railway Bazaar and Riding The Iron Rooster (as well as more than twenty works of fiction, including The Mosquito Coast) is justly famous around the globe.

Wonderfully broad in scope, thought, and feeling, the book touches down on five continents and floats through most of the seas in between. From the crisp quiet of a solitary week spent in the snow-bound Maine woods, to the expectant chaos of Hong Kong on the eve of the Hand-over, to a remote island in the Pacific where the first atomic bombs were detonated, Theroux is the perfect guide – casually informative, keenly observant, wry, and entertaining. As Time has written, Theroux "serves as both the camera and the eye, and both the details and the illusions are developed with brilliance." He also reaches back into his past to tell of his earliest ventures into Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer, treats us to insightful readings of his favorite travel – writing classics, and reveals the fascinating stories behind some of his own.

In this remarkable collection of essays and articles written over the last fifteen years, Paul Theroux demonstrates how the traveling life and the writing life are intimately connected. His journeys in remote hinterlands and crowded foreign capitals provide the necessary perspective to "become a stranger" in order to discover the self.

Traveling with Theroux is a literary adventure of the first order, never a languid luxury cruise, always an insightful journey to the heart and soul of a place and its people. Fresh Air Fiend is the ultimate good read for anyone fascinated by travel and travel writing. It's a perfect introduction to the author's work and an excellent, overarching collection for longtime readers and fans.

Book News Annotation:

Contains 54 travel essays and articles written over the last 15 years by travel writer and novelist Paul Theroux. The pieces include the author's musing about the point of travel writing, essays about his own experiences such as snow camping in Maine and sailing down China's Yangtze River, and a series of book reviews.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Paul Theroux's first collection of essays and articles devoted entirely to travel writing, FRESH AIR FIEND touches down on five continents and floats through most seas in between to deliver a literary adventure of the first order, with the incomparable Paul Theroux as a guide. From the crisp quiet of a solitary week spent in the snowbound Maine woods to the expectant chaos of Hong Kong on the eve of the Hand-over, Theroux demonstrates how the traveling life and the writing life are intimately connected. His journeys in remote hinterlands and crowded foreign capitals provide the necessary perspective to "become a stranger" in order to discover the self. A companion volume to SUNRISE WITH SEAMONSTERS, FRESH AIR FIEND is the ultimate good read for anyone fascinated by travel in the wider world or curious about the life of one of our most passionate travelers.

Synopsis:

This collection of Theroux's essays and articles over the past 15 years follows his highly successful "Sunrise with Seamonsters." This volume, however, is devoted exclusively to travel writings that capture such scenes as the snowy Maine woods and Hong Kong on the eve of the hand-over.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. [463]-466).

About the Author

Paul Theroux was born and raised in Medford, Massachusetts, where he attended public schools (and was a classmate of Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City; both were Eagle Scouts). He graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a science major and intended to pursue a career in medicine, but his desire to travel and his passion to write derailed plans for a future Dr. Theroux.

Before Theroux became a professional writer he taught in various countries. His first job?and his best as a salaried employee?was as a lecturer in English at the University of Urbino in Italy. The university was housed in a duke's palace, and all of his students were young Italian women. This was in the summer of 1963. Six months later he was a Peace Corps teacher at a school in central Africa and was living in the bush. In 1965 Theroux was "terminated early" from the Peace Corps in Malawi for "engaging in politics." In reality, what he did was drive a friend's car from Malawi to Uganda?unfortunately, that friend had been forced to leave the country for siding with the opposition. For the next four years Theroux was a lecturer in English at Makerere University, in Kampala, Uganda, where he met and married his first wife. In 1968 he moved to Singapore and joined the English Department at the University of Singapore.

In 1967 Theroux's first novel, Waldo, was published. Late in 1971 he gave up teaching to write full time and moved to England, where he lived off and on for the next seventeen years.

Theroux virtually reinvented the genre of travel writing, beginning with The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train Through Asia, published in 1975 by Houghton Mifflin. Since then he has dazzled critics and readers alike with books about his trips through China (Riding the Iron Rooster, Sailing Through China), Great Britain (The Kingdom by the Sea), India (The Imperial Way), Latin America (The Old Patagonian Express), the Pacific islands (The Happy Isles of Oceania), and the Mediterranean (The Pillars of Hercules).

In addition to his fourteen works of nonfiction and criticism, Theroux is the author of twenty-four novels, including Hotel Honolulu, Kowloon Tong, My Other Life, and Millroy the Magician. His novels Saint Jack, The Mosquito Coast, and Half Moon Street have been made into successful feature films, and he has won the prestigious Whitbread Prize for Picture Palace and the James Tait Black Award for The Mosquito Coast.

During his travels in the Pacific, Theroux came to love Hawaii. He is now married to a Hawaiian woman and they live in the woods on the North Shore of Oahu, among many birds and geese and bees, which form his apiary?Theroux is also a beekeeper. He spends summers on Cape Cod, not far from where he grew up.

Table of Contents

Contents Introduction: Being a Stranger 1 one / time travel Memory and Creation: The View from Fifty 17 The Object of Desire 35 At the Sharp End: Being in the Peace Corps 40 Five Travel Epiphanies 46 Travel Writing: The Point of It 49 two / fresh air fiend Fresh Air Fiend 57 The Awkward Question 62 The Moving Target 65 Dead Reckoning to Nantucket 70 Paddling to Plymouth 79 Fever Chart: Parasites I Have Known 85 three / a sense of place Diaries of Two Cities: Amsterdam and London 93 Farewell to Britain: Look Thy Last on All Things Lovely 102 Gravy Train: A Private Railway Car 106 The Maine Woods: Camping in the Snow 113 Trespassing in Florida 120 Down the Zambezi 126 The True Size of Cape Cod 148 German Humor 151 four / china Down the Yangtze 157 Chinese Miracles 189 Ghost Stories: A Letter from Hong Kong on the Eve of the Hand-over 236 five / the pacific Hawaii 271 The Other Oahu 271 On Molokai 277 Connected in Palau 283 Tasting the Pacific 293 Palawan: Up and Down the Creek 298 Christmas Island: Bombs and Birds 312 six / books of travel My Own 323 The Edge of the Great Rift: Three African Novels 323 The Black House 328 The Great Railway Bazaar 330 The Old Patagonian Express 336 The Making of The Mosquito Coast 341 Kowloon Tong 347 Other People's 349 Robinson Crusoe 349 Thoreau's Cape Cod 355 The Secret Agent: A Dangerous Londoner 363 The Worst Journey in the World 372 Racers to the Pole 378 PrairyErth 384 Looking for a Ship 388 seven / escapees and exiles Chatwin Revisited 395 Greeneland 408 V. S. Pritchett: The Foreigner as Traveler 419 William Simpson: Artist and Traveler 423 Rajat Neogy: An Indian in Uganda 432 The Exile Moritz Thomsen 435 eight / fugues Unspeakable Rituals and Outlandish Beliefs 443 Gilstrap, the Homesick Explorer 454 The Return of Bingo Humpage 459 Bibliography 463

Product Details

ISBN:
9780618034062
Subtitle:
Travel Writings
Author:
Theroux, Paul
Author:
Theroux, Paul
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Location:
Boston :
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
Essays & Travelogues
Subject:
Voyages and travels
Subject:
Journeys
Subject:
Theroux, Paul
Subject:
Theroux, paul, 1941-
Subject:
Travel
Subject:
Theroux, Paul - Travel
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series Volume:
v.9
Publication Date:
May 2000
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
480
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 0.56 in 1.72 lb

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Related Subjects

Travel » Travel Writing » General

Fresh Air Fiend: Travel Writings, 1985-2000 Used Hardcover
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Product details 480 pages Houghton Mifflin Company - English 9780618034062 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Paul Theroux's first collection of essays and articles devoted entirely to travel writing, FRESH AIR FIEND touches down on five continents and floats through most seas in between to deliver a literary adventure of the first order, with the incomparable Paul Theroux as a guide. From the crisp quiet of a solitary week spent in the snowbound Maine woods to the expectant chaos of Hong Kong on the eve of the Hand-over, Theroux demonstrates how the traveling life and the writing life are intimately connected. His journeys in remote hinterlands and crowded foreign capitals provide the necessary perspective to "become a stranger" in order to discover the self. A companion volume to SUNRISE WITH SEAMONSTERS, FRESH AIR FIEND is the ultimate good read for anyone fascinated by travel in the wider world or curious about the life of one of our most passionate travelers.
"Synopsis" by , This collection of Theroux's essays and articles over the past 15 years follows his highly successful "Sunrise with Seamonsters." This volume, however, is devoted exclusively to travel writings that capture such scenes as the snowy Maine woods and Hong Kong on the eve of the hand-over.
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