Articles by Paul Theroux

Chief Kekuakalani was defeated at the Battle of Kuamo'o on December 18, 1819, and his feather cloak was taken as a battle prize for his opponent and cousin, King Liholiho–King Kamehameha II.

A Feathered Cape Worn by a Hawaiian Chief Tells a Story of Conflict and Tragedy

Dating back 200 years, the cloak represents the violence brought to the islands by colonial powers

A detail of Toledo’s self-portrait Eye of the Beholder (2017) uses gold leaf in a grid of refracted identities. All artwork used with permission of the artist.

What Makes Francisco Toledo 'El Maestro'

Mexico's most important living artist mixes magical realism with passionate rebellion

The Epic Quest to Ride the World’s Biggest Wave

Welcome to the new Mt. Everest of surfing, a notoriously dangerous break off the coast of Portugal

After U.S. Border Patrol spots their raft, migrants speed back toward the Mexico side of the Rio Grande.

Myth and Reason on the Mexican Border

The renowned travel writer journeys the length of the U.S.-Mexico border to get a firsthand look at life along the blurry 2,000-mile line

Lee's Maycomb, indelibly evoked in the novel that sells a million copies annually, endures in the small-town reality of Monroeville.

What's Changed, and What Hasn't, in the Town That Inspired "To Kill a Mockingbird"

Traveling back in time to visit Harper Lee's hometown, the setting of her 1960 masterpiece and the controversial sequel hitting bookstores soon

In his magisterial America Today mural, Benton invented a muscular  style intended to convey “the language of the street.”

The Story Behind Thomas Hart Benton’s Incredible Masterwork

The famed artist drew on his extensive travels to paint “America Today”

Natchez, a historic cotton and sugar port on the Mississippi River, has seen its population fall by a third since 1960.

The Soul of the South

Fifty years after the civil rights summer of 1964, renowned travel writer Paul Theroux chronicles the living memory of an overlooked America

The Hawaiian islands, from left to right, Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe, Maui and the Big Island.

Paul Theroux’s Quest to Define Hawaii

For this renowned travel writer, no place has proved harder to decipher than his home for the past 22 years

Autobiographies invariably distort, insists author Paul Theroux, at his home in Hawaii.

The Trouble With Autobiography

Novelist and travel writer Paul Theroux examines other authors' autobiographies to prove why this piece will suffice for his

Fleeing the clogged freeways of Los Angeles, Paul Theroux set forth into an America both lonelier and lovelier than the one he expected to find.

Taking the Great American Roadtrip

In the spirit of Kerouac and Steinbeck, the celebrated travel writer fulfills a childhood fantasy: to drive across his native land

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