AUGUSTA — Highly acclaimed travel writer and novelist Paul Theroux is Lithgow Public Library’s choice for A Capital Read 2015.

Two books by Theroux have been chosen: “The Lower River” (fiction) and “The Last Train to Zona Verde” (nonfiction). The two books focus on the African continent and share similar themes.

The author event and book signing with Theroux will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 30 at the University of Maine at Augusta’s Jewett Hall.

“We are thrilled to have an author of Paul Theroux’s stature join us for A Capital Read 2015,” said Lithgow Library Director Elizabeth Pohl.

“Because Paul has written award-winning books in a variety of genres, we decided to offer readers a choice of both his fiction and nonfiction work for this year’s selections.”

Theroux’s long career reflects a prodigious output — more than 47 works of travel writing, short-story collections, novels, criticism and children’s literature since he published his first book, “Waldo,” in 1967.


“Paul Theroux has been a favorite author of mine since I read “The Great Railway Bazaar” back in the ’70’s. Whether it’s fiction like the “The Mosquito Coast” or “The Lower River” or real-life works like the compelling “Dark Star Safari,” I always thoroughly enjoy his work. I’m delighted we’re going to have the chance to host him in Augusta and to express our appreciation for his important contribution to modern literature.”

Many of Theroux’s novels are set in exotic locations around the world, and are inspired by his own travels, which he also chronicles in his distinguished collection of nonfiction. His latest novel, “The Lower River,” is inspired by his own chilling experience in Malawi while in the Peace Corps. In his travelogue “The Last Train to Zona Verde,” Theroux returns to the continent he knows and loves best. On a 2,500-mile trek through the bush, he explores the little-traveled territory of western Africa.

Theroux is a recipient of the American Academy and Institute of Arts & Letters Award for literature, the Whitbread Prize for his novel Picture Palace and the James Tait Black Award for The Mosquito Coast.

A Capital Read is sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank and the Friends of Lithgow Library, in partnership with Viles Arboretum, the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine, the University of Maine at Augusta and the Kennebec Journal.

Copies of “The Lower River” and “The Last Train to Zona Verde” will be available at Lithgow Library, Bangor Savings Bank (Senator Way location), Viles Arboretum and The Holocaust and Human Rights Center at UMA, while supplies last.

All events for A Capital Read 2015 are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Lithgow Library at 626-2415 or visit the library’s website at

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