Theroux's extensive travels have taken him through Africa, Asia and Central America. In his earlier writings, a central theme of his work was the ironic examination of the clashing and mingling of Western and Third World cultures. His new book, "My Other Life" (Houghton Bufflin) is a work of fiction about a character named Paul Theroux, based on his experiences and encounters as a world traveler. His interview was recorded at the Free Library in Philadelphia
Paul Theroux is no ordinary travel writer: his books are about exotic voyages, some by train, and others by foot. His work includes "The Great Railway Bazaar," "The Old Patagonian Express," and "The Kingdom By The Sea." In this excerpt from a 1993 interview, he talks about the various diseases he's contracted over the years.
Travel author and novelist Paul Theroux. In a new issue of the Conde Nast Traveler magazine --July 1993-- Theroux recounts the abundant ailments and diseases he's contracted during his thirty years of world travel. Luckily, "Kuru" isn't one of them: a Papua New Guinea affliction of the nervous system where one goes mad, then dies trembling. The only way to catch it is after eating human brains.