Born in 1904, Graham Greene was the son of a headmaster and the fourth of six children. Preferring to stay home and read rather than endure the teasing at school that was a by-product of his father's occupation, Greene attempted suicide several times and eventually dropped out of school at the age of 15. His parents sent him to an analyst in London who recommended he try writing as therapy. He completed his first novel by the time he graduated from college in 1925. Greene wrote both entertainments and serious novels. Catholicism was a recurring theme in his work, notable examples being The Power and the Glory (1940) and The End of the Affair (1951). Popular suspense novels include: The Heart of the Matter, Our Man in Havana and The Quiet American. Greene was also a world traveler and he used his experiences as the basis for many books. One popular example, Journey Without Maps (1936), was based on a trip through the jungles of Liberia. Greene also wrote and adapted screenplays, including that of the 1949 film, The Third Man, which starred Orson Welles. He died in Vevey, Switzerland in 1991.
Paul Edward Theroux was born on April 10, 1941 in Medford, Massachusetts and is an acclaimed travel writer. After attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst he joined the Peace Corps and taught in Malawi from 1963 to 1965. He also taught in Uganda at Makerere University and in Singapore at the University of Singapore. Although Theroux has also written travel books in general and about various modes of transport, his name is synonymous with the literature of train travel. Theroux's 1975 best-seller, The Great Railway Bazaar, takes the reader through Asia, while his second book about train travel, The Old Patagonian Express (1979), describes his trip from Boston to the tip of South America. His third contribution to the railway travel genre, Riding the Iron Rooster: By Train Through China, won the Thomas Cook Prize for best literary travel book in 1989. His literary output also includes novels, books for children, short stories, articles, and poetry. His novels include Picture Palace (1978), which won the Whitbread Award and The Mosquito Coast (1981), which won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Theroux is a fellow of both the British Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Geographic Society. His title Lower River made The New York Times Best Seller List for 2012.
Graham Greene was born in 1904. He was a member of the Order of Merit and a Companion of Honour. Graham Greene died in April 1991. Among the many people who paid tribute to him on his death was Kingsley Amis: 'He will be missed all over the world. Until today, he was our greatest living novelist.'