Theroux-Naipaul shake hands

paul theroux

Talk about social media, the ubiquitousness of cameras and instant communication: Paul Theroux and V.S. Naipaul unexpectedly encountered each other at a literary festival in England, which led to a long handshake and a smiling exchange. Here’s a post of the video. I’ve always admired Theroux’s “Sir Vidia’s Shadow” for its evocation of their early encounter in Malawi and the unknowable, dramatic course friendships can take. Here’s part of the post on The Book Bench:

“Talk about being in the right place at the right time: Reza Aslan was at the Hay Festival last weekend, where he gave a talk about his latest project—the gorgeous, comprehensive “Tablet and Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East,” a collection of Middle Eastern essays, fiction, and poetry from the past hundred years in English translation—and was in the green room when Paul Theroux and V. S. Naipaul had their encounter. Aslan happened to be taking a video with his phone, when, to his surprise, Theroux approached Naipaul and offered his hand.  Aslan put it on his Twitter feed (@rezaaslan): “Holy Cow! I caught first face-to-face reconciliation of Paul Theroux & VS Naipaul. Magical moment.”

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