The Lower River

By Paul Theroux
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), Hardcover, 9780547746500, 323pp.

Publication Date: May 22, 2012

List Price: $25.00*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the June 2012 Indie Next List
“As Ellis Hock nears the end of his long career -- and his marriage -- he does what many of us do at a time of great change: reassess the trajectory of our lives by going back to a time when we were truly happy. For Ellis that time was in his twenties, when he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Lower River of Malawi. He decides to return, but the Africa of his sixties is but a shadow of the Africa he left behind, and the idealism he arrives with quickly vanishes in the desperation that covers his beloved village.”
— Amanda Hurley, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL


Description
Ellis Hock never believed that he would return to Africa. He runs an old-fashioned menswear store in a small town in Massachusetts but still dreams of his Eden, the four years he spent in Malawi with the Peace Corps, cut short when he had to return to take over the family business. When his wife leaves him, and he is on his own, he realizes that there is one place for him to go: back to his village in Malawi, on the remote Lower River, where he can be happy again.
Arriving at the dusty village, he finds it transformed: the school he built is a ruin, the church and clinic are gone, and poverty and apathy have set in among the people. They remember him the White Man with no fear of snakes and welcome him. But is his new life, his journey back, an escape or a trap?
Interweaving memory and desire, hope and despair, salvation and damnation, this is a hypnotic, compelling, and brilliant return to a terrain about which no one has ever written better than Theroux.



About the Author
PAUL THEROUXis the author of many highly acclaimed books. His novels include The Lower River and The Mosquito Coast, and his renowned travel books include Ghost Train to the Eastern Star and Dark Star Safari. He lives in Hawaii and Cape Cod.



NPR
Friday, Jun 8, 2012

Alan Cheuse reviews the new novel, The Lower River by Paul Theroux. Cheuse teaches writing at George Mason University. More at NPR.org

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NPR
Sunday, May 20, 2012

Travel writer Paul Theroux's latest novel, The Lower River, is about a former Peace Corps volunteer who returns to Malawi years later and finds the village he left much changed. Host Rachel Martin talks with author. More at NPR.org

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