|Author: Larry McMurtry|
|In this classic memoir now in paperback, McMurtry journeys from the harsh landscape of west Texas to the lush islands of the South Seas, weaving together shrewd observations, personal history, and resonant reflections on love and life.|
From the Publisher:
The author recounts his 1999 odyssey to Tahiti and the South Seas Islands, a journey he took in response to his dying mother's revelations about her marriage, relationship with his father, and life against the harsh, violent landscape of west Texas.In 1999, Larry McMurtry, whose wanderlust had been previously restricted to the roads of America, set off for a trip to the paradise of Tahiti and the South Sea Islands in an old-fashioned tub of a cruise boat, at a time when his mother was slipping toward a paradise of her own. Opening up to her son in her final days, his mother makes a stunning revelation of a previous marriage and sends McMurtry on a journey of an entirely different kind.
Vividly, movingly, and with infinite care, McMurtry paints a portrait of his parents' marriage against the harsh, violent landscape of west Texas. It is their roots -- laced with overtones of hard work, bitter disappointment, and the Puritan ethic -- that McMurtry challenges by traveling to Tahiti, a land of lush sensuality and easy living. With fascinating detail, shrewd observations, humorous pathos, and unforgettable characters, he begins to answer some of the questions of what paradise is, whether it exists, and how different it is from life in his hometown of Archer City, Texas.
The author recounts his 1999 odyssey to Tahiti and the South Seas Islands, a journey he took in response to his dying mother's revelations about her marriage, relationship with his father, and life against the harsh, violent landscape of west Texas.
Larry McMurtry leaves his usual stomping grounds, gets on a cruise ship, and heads for the South Sea Islands, where he reflects on the marriage of his parents and the startling revelations his mother made to him on her death bed. The result is a dual portrait of the lush land of Tahiti and a very American, very Texan couple--and it includes McMurtry's often comic reactions to the cruise, and his own quirky preferences as a distinctly unconventional traveler.
"PARADISE captures the peripatetic, often interrupted quality of a traveler's thoughts: old worries...are subsumed in new distractions....About pigs and tourists, McMurtry is amusing. But as he ponders the similarity between his parents' emotional isolation and the isolation of Gauguin's native bride....PARADISE takes on a predominantly darker tone....In PARADISE..., the journey [is] so pleasant and involving that we barely notice where we are until that last page, that last paragraph, which leads us right up to death." - Caroline Fraser 10/04/2001