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Novelist and travel author Paul Theroux talks about his love for Mexico, road trips and Greenland 

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Novelist and travel author Paul Theroux talks about his love for Mexico, road trips and Greenland

This week novelist and travel author Paul Theroux checks into our travel Q&A.

He reflects on his favourite foreign country to go to, sheds light on the situation that inspired his latest novel and recalls his very first trip abroad, back within the Nineteen Sixties. 

EARLIEST HOLIDAY MEMORY?

Spending per week at a cottage by the ocean in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, as a boy. We didn’t have a refrigerator and I remember the rubber-caped iceman coming round every few days with big blocks of ice that he slung on his back.

Novelist and travel author Paul Theroux (pictured) checks in to our travel Q&A

FIRST TIME ABROAD?

After graduating from university in the summertime of 1963 I went to a town in Italy called Urbino to show English — my students were all young women, the food was delicious and the town was wonderful. It was probably my best ever job.

THE GREAT RAILWAY BAZAAR MADE YOUR NAME AS A WRITER – ARE YOU STILL A TRAIN BUFF?

I’m more of a driver. My last couple of books were inspired by road trips. With a automotive you possibly can go anywhere, any time.

IS YOUR NEW NOVEL INSPIRED BY ANYWHERE IN PARTICULAR?

It’s the story of feuding brothers in a small town very like the one I grew up in, Medford, Massachusetts, but I’ve called it Littleford in my book pondering, ‘That may idiot them!’

After graduating from university in the summer of 1963 Paul went to a town in Italy called Urbino (above) to teach English. 'It was probably my best ever job,' he says

After graduating from university in the summertime of 1963 Paul went to a town in Italy called Urbino (above) to show English. ‘It was probably my best ever job,’ he says 

WHICH OF YOUR BOOKS ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

The Mosquito Coast, which was was a movie, and my V. S. Naipaul memoir, Sir Vidia’s Shadow.

FAVOURITE FOREIGN COUNTRY?

Mexico, because I can drive there from my home in Cape Cod. It’s wealthy in history, I like the food, I even have friends there and I speak Spanish. I’m particularly keen on Oaxaca and Mexico City.

DREAM DESTINATION?

A spot I’ve long fantasised about visiting, Greenland — somewhere you hardly examine. I’d like to go kayaking there.

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