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Figures in a Landscape : People and Places
by Paul Theroux




Overview -
A delectable collection of Theroux's recent writing on great places, people, and prose

In the spirit of his much-loved Sunrise with Seamonsters and Fresh Air Fiend, Paul Theroux's latest collection of essays leads the reader through a dazzling array of sights, characters, and experiences, as Theroux applies his signature searching curiosity to a life lived as much in reading as on the road. This writerly tour-de-force features a satisfyingly varied selection of topics that showcase Theroux's sheer versatility as a writer. Travel essays take us to Ecuador, Zimbabwe, and Hawaii, to name a few. Gems of literary criticism reveal fascinating depth in the work of Henry David Thoreau, Graham Greene, Joseph Conrad, and Hunter Thompson. And in a series of breathtakingly personal profiles, we take a helicopter ride with Elizabeth Taylor, go surfing with Oliver Sacks, eavesdrop on the day-to-day life of a Manhattan dominatrix, and explore New York with Robin Williams.

An extended mediation on the craft of writing binds together this wide-ranging collection, along with Theroux's constant quest for the authentic in a person or in a place.

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More About Figures in a Landscape by Paul Theroux

 
 
 

Overview

A delectable collection of Theroux's recent writing on great places, people, and prose

In the spirit of his much-loved Sunrise with Seamonsters and Fresh Air Fiend, Paul Theroux's latest collection of essays leads the reader through a dazzling array of sights, characters, and experiences, as Theroux applies his signature searching curiosity to a life lived as much in reading as on the road. This writerly tour-de-force features a satisfyingly varied selection of topics that showcase Theroux's sheer versatility as a writer. Travel essays take us to Ecuador, Zimbabwe, and Hawaii, to name a few. Gems of literary criticism reveal fascinating depth in the work of Henry David Thoreau, Graham Greene, Joseph Conrad, and Hunter Thompson. And in a series of breathtakingly personal profiles, we take a helicopter ride with Elizabeth Taylor, go surfing with Oliver Sacks, eavesdrop on the day-to-day life of a Manhattan dominatrix, and explore New York with Robin Williams.

An extended mediation on the craft of writing binds together this wide-ranging collection, along with Theroux's constant quest for the authentic in a person or in a place.


This item is Non-Returnable.

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780544870307
  • ISBN-10: 0544870301
  • Publisher: Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publish Date: May 2018
  • Page Count: 416
  • Dimensions: 9.2 x 6 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.35 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

Looking back on a life spent in transit

From The Great Railway Bazaar (1975) to The Tao of Travel (2011), Paul Theroux has taught us how to travel: intently, adventurously and lightly.

While the title may suggest a single painting, the 30 essays included here are alive with locales as varied as Theroux’s many journeys. He is a collector of experiences with the famous and infamous, the familiar and the exotic, the literati and the little guys. There’s a helicopter flight over Neverland Ranch with Elizabeth Taylor as she discusses her Peter Pan and Wendy-esque friendship with Michael Jackson. Walks with Robin Williams and Oliver Sacks reveal their inspiring humanity. A dominatrix explains everything. Hunter S. Thompson is remembered for his writing and demons, “familiar, because they are our demons, most of them anyway.”

Theroux gets around the globe as well, whether searching for a fabled drug high in Ecuador, residing in England for 18 years, rediscovering Vietnam or paddling around in Hawaii.

Having been everywhere and done almost everything, Theroux concludes Figures in a Landscape closer to home, examining his childhood and parents with the circumspection of a worldly-wise adult. Yet his insatiable curiosity continues, and he wonders what his own legacy should be. For Theroux, the idea of leaving no trace has never been an option.

 

This article was originally published in the May 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 

BAM Customer Reviews