Deep South: Book summary and reviews of Deep South by Paul Theroux

Deep South

Four Seasons on Back Roads

by Paul Theroux

Deep South by Paul Theroux X
Deep South by Paul Theroux
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2015
    464 pages
    Genre: Travel & Adventure

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Book Summary

Paul Theroux has spent fifty years crossing the globe, adventuring in the exotic, seeking the rich history and folklore of the far away. Now, for the first time, in his tenth travel book, Theroux explores a piece of America — the Deep South. He finds there a paradoxical place, full of incomparable music, unparalleled cuisine, and yet also some of the nation's worst schools, housing, and unemployment rates. It's these parts of the South, so often ignored, that have caught Theroux's keen traveler's eye.

On road trips spanning four seasons, wending along rural highways, Theroux visits gun shows and small-town churches, laborers in Arkansas, and parts of Mississippi where they still call the farm up the road "the plantation." He talks to mayors and social workers, writers and reverends, the working poor and farming families — the unsung heroes of the south, the people who, despite it all, never left, and also those who returned home to rebuild a place they could never live without.

From the writer whose "great mission has always been to transport us beyond that reading chair, to challenge himself — and thus, to challenge us" (Boston Globe), Deep South is an ode to a region, vivid and haunting, full of life and loss alike.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Free of the sense of alienation that marked his recent travelogues, this luminous sojourn is Theroux's best outing in years." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. An epically compelling travel memoir." - Kirkus

A literary travelog that will interest readers of Southern history and literature and anyone with an interest in American urban history and the plight of the poor." - Library Journal

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Author Information

Paul Theroux Author Biography

Photo: Greg Martin

Paul Edward Theroux was born on April 10, 1941 in Medford, Massachusetts. The son of a French-Canadian father and an Italian mother, Theroux was one of seven children. Never much of an athlete, Theroux spent most of the 1950's reading. He never admitted, even to himself, his desire to be a writer and studied premed in college. Writing, he believed to be "incompatible with being a man--money is masculinity".

Theroux, who grew up a Boy Scout and a Catholic, graduated high school in 1959 and left Medford "the first chance I had". He attended the University of Maine where he wrote many anti-Vietnam war editorials and refused to join the required Reserved Officers Training Corps. He transferred to the University of Massachusetts and took a creative ...

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Name Pronunciation
Paul Theroux: Thor-ew (which, incidentally, is different to Henry Thoreau which is pronounced like 'thorough')

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