Paul Theroux
Paul Theroux

Acclaimed travel writer and novelist Paul Theroux has enlightened audiences around the globe with his five decades of travel wisdom. On June 1, he’ll be presented with the esteemed 2015 Patron’s Medal by the Royal Geographical Society, recognizing his “achievement in geographical research and fieldwork, teaching and public engagement.”

He is well known for his novel “The Great Railway Bazaar” (1975) in which he wrote of his journey by train from Great Britain through Europe and Southeast Asia to Japan and then back across Russia. Among his many travel novels, “Riding the Iron Rooster” (1983) and “The Mosquito Coast” (1981) were favorites as well.

“Paul Theroux’s writing has made a significant contribution to people’s understanding of the world in which we live and its people and cultures, whilst also inspiring the next generation of travel writers,” said Professor Dame Judith Reese of Royal Geographical Society.

His next book, “Deep South,” comes out in September 2015, and in it Theroux explores the rural beauty of the American south through a global traveler’s eye. Theroux is drawn into isolated churches, farm fields, gun shows and private houses of the rich and poor in this upcoming novel of generosity and rich stories.

“The wish to travel seems to me characteristically human: the desire to move, to satisfy your curiosity or ease your fears, to change the circumstances of your life, to be a stranger, to make a friend, to experience an exotic landscape, to risk the unknown.”

—Paul Theroux, The Tao of Travel: Enlightenments from Lives on the Road

Theroux’s British royal medal, which is approved by the Queen of England, will be presented in London as part of the Royal Geographical Society’s annual meeting. Past media recipients include Sir Edmund Hillary, Commander Robert Scott, Admiral Richard Byrd, Henry Morton Stanley, Dr. Thor Heyerdahl, Capt. Jacques-Yves Cousteau, and Dr. L.H.S. Leakey.


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