Mail from Paul Theroux


Dear Eric,

Many thanks for your friendly note. I’m always glad to meet a reader – and you do what I do as a reader. When I find a writer I like I read everything – last year it was Samuel Beckett, this year Stephen Crane and Rebecca West, and I’m starting on Patrick White – the oldies, mainly.

I have been to Japan a number of times but to me being there is baffling, obviously because I don’t speak the language, and because the inner life of Japan seems to me highly complex, strenuously protected, a nesting box of secrets, and I have only written about the surfaces there – and unlike other cultures Japanese surfaces don’t reveal their inner state. So I am counting on you to write the ultimate book on the inner life of Japan!

Yes, I have just published “The Bad Angel Brothers” and hope you like it. I am working on a novel now about a historical figure – a 20th writer, his early life…

All the best,

Paul Theroux