My Secret History

My Secret History

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by Paul Theroux
     
 

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Brilliantly written, erotically charged, My Secret History is Paul Theroux's tour de force. It is the story of Andre Parent, a writer, a world traveller, a lover of every kind of woman he chances to meet in a life as varied as a man can lead.

It begins with his days as a Massachusetts altar boy, when his first furtive sexual encounter introduces him to the thrills

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Overview

Brilliantly written, erotically charged, My Secret History is Paul Theroux's tour de force. It is the story of Andre Parent, a writer, a world traveller, a lover of every kind of woman he chances to meet in a life as varied as a man can lead.

It begins with his days as a Massachusetts altar boy, when his first furtive sexual encounter introduces him to the thrills of leading a double life. As a teenaged lifeguard, Andre finds himself caught between the attentions of a beautiful young student and an amorous older woman. Soon he is in Africa, where the local women are numerous, easy, and free. And as the boy becomes a man he turns his attention to writing, which brings him fame, and a wife, who may finally cause him to know himself.

But not before he sets up his most dangerous secret life, one that any man might envy, but that could cost Andre Parent the delicate balance that makes him who he is.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This ``witty and wise portrait of a writer as he travels the globe searching for self-understanding'' introduces Andrew Parent, a narcissist with secrets and hidden emotions. ``In his exploration of the ambiguities of love and art, Theroux has created a character so humorous and vital that we forgive his flaws,'' observed PW. Author tour. (Apr.)
Library Journal
From an early adolescence torn between a call to the priesthood and the call of the flesh, through late-adolescent sexual initiation and a young adult's escapades as a teacher in Africa, to a grown man's crisis in marriage, Theroux recounts the ``secret history'' of Andy Parent, a writer suspiciously resembling Theroux himself. That the purpose is to show a man ``writing for his life,'' his fragmented self so healed by making ``something new of his experience'' that his work is seen metaphorically as ``going home,'' is not apparent until the final pages, and though these pages dazzle they hardly seem novelistic. For the reader, Andy's impulse to write is buried in the unending description of his numerous liaisons--there is enough sexual endeavor here to bore the most prurient among us. Indeed, his comment, ``My being inarticulate was probably the reason I had become a writer,'' serves to highlight Theroux's own failure to articulate the connections between Andy's early life and later self-discovery as a writer. A tantalizing novel whose occasional power suggests how much better it could have been.-- Barbara Hoffert, ``Library Journal''
From the Publisher
"Merges the two genres he's famous for... My secret history is about the permanence of marriage in the face of mistrust and infidelity; it's about the wisdom of women and the foolishness of men; and it's about mature love as the necessary and sometimes successful antidote to youthful selfishness."

— the New York Times Book Review

"Consistently entertaining... Theroux's hero is a man of ironic intelligence and amusing self-awareness."

— Time

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399134241
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
06/09/1989
Pages:
512
Product dimensions:
9.54(w) x 6.40(h) x 1.59(d)

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