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The Year of the End: A Memoir of Marriage, Truth and Fiction, by Anne Theroux - Frances Wilson

Books | By Frances Wilson

Frances Wilson finds parallels in Anne Theroux's memoir about her marriage to Paul Theroux and his memoir about the demise of his relationship with V S Naipaul

In Sir Vidia’s Shadow (1998), Paul Theroux described the breakdown of his 30-year friendship with V S Naipaul, which had reached, he tells us in the subtitle, ‘across five continents’. So blinded was he by Naipaul’s talent that he failed to se that he was a monster. It was only when Naipaul, recently remarried, dropped him that Theroux realised he ‘had freed me, he had opened my eyes, he had given me a subject’. Sir Vidia’s Shadow tells us a good deal about Naipaul’s dismal treatment of his first wife and about Theroux’s sense of his own sexual and moral superiority, but nothing at all about Anne, Theroux’s own first wife, whom he met in 1967, the year after befriending Naipaul. All we are told about the Theroux marriage is that their separation was ‘by mutual consent’ and that Paul then, as he put it, ‘seemed to evaporate. I died...

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