A Drink with The Idler | Paul Theroux on George Orwell in Burma

Paul Theroux
Paul Theroux by Steve McCurry


Join “A Drink with the Idler” as we chat with Paul Theroux about his fictionalised account of George Orwell’s five-year stint in Burma

Paul Theroux’s new novel Burma Sahib follows Eric Arthur Blair’s itinerary through Burma, where he spent time in Rangoon and in postings to various provincial towns and districts. From his experiences he would emerge as George Orwell, celebrated novelist, essayist, journalist and poet. Burma Sahib is not only the product of Paul’s observations and imagination, but also draws from Orwell’s 1934 novel, Burmese Days, and his celebrated essays “A Hanging” and “Shooting an Elephant”

The discussion will be followed by a live Q&A. The Idler Academy’s Head of Philosophy Dr Mark Vernon will present a short “thought for the week” to get our brains fizzing and the discussion will be followed by a live Q&A. The event will be  hosted by Idler Academy director Victoria Hull.

This is an online event. It should be like meeting up in the pub for an interesting conversation. We leave the meeting open at the end so you can carry on chatting.

Paul Theroux (‘The world’s most perceptive travel writer” – Daily Mail) is the author of many highly acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction, including The Great Railway Bazaar (1975), The Mosquito Coast (1981) Riding the Iron Rooster (1983), and Mr Bones: Twenty Stories (2014). In 2015, Paul was awarded a Royal Medal from the Royal Geographical Society for “the encouragement of geographical discovery through travel writing”. Paul’s other awards include the American Academy and Institute of Arts & Letters Award for literature; the Whitbread Prize, for his novel, Picture Palace; and the James Tait Black Award, for The Mosquito Coast. His travelogue, The Old Patagonian Express: By Train through the Americas, and The Mosquito Coast were both nominated for the American Book Award. His novels Saint Jack, The Mosquito Coast, Doctor Slaughter and Half Moon Street have been made into films and his short-story collection London Embassy was adapted for a British mini-series in 1987. Paul holds honorary doctorates from three American universities and remains a highly sought-after speaker. He lives in Hawaii and Cape Cod.

Tom Hodgkinson is editor of the Idler and author of the best-selling manuals, How to Be Idle and How to Be Free. Other publications include a book on parenting, the Ukulele Handbook and a manual for creative entrepreneurs, Business for Bohemians.

Dr Mark Vernon is a psychotherapist, writer, broadcaster, and teacher. He presents several Idler Academy online courses. He has a PhD in philosophy, and degrees in theology and physics. His most recent books include The Idler Guide to Ancient Philosophy (Idler Books), Love: All that Matters (Hodder) and Jung: How to Believe (Guardian Shorts) – and he has books on friendship, belief and the good life too. Mark can often be heard on Radio 4’s Moral Maze. He began his professional life as a priest in the Church of England. For more, visit markvernon.com

Victoria Hull is director of The Idler Academy, producing the Idler’s live and online events and courses.

Testimonials from A Drink with the Idler

Drinks with the Idler have kept me sane.

A fabulous Idler Drinks – thanks Tom, Victoria, Mark and idlers everywhere!

A simple heartfelt “thank you”: I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying Thursday evenings as part of the Idler community. Never has a subscription yielded such brain-nourishing pleasure. 

Short yet so sweet, delightful and interesting… uplifting intelligent conversation. I feel so happy to have stumbled upon the Idler. I bow to you all☺️⭐️

A Drink with the Idler has turned out to be one of our lifelines! Such fun, wonderful commentary by you and the remarkable Mark, not to mention the delightful Victoria. 

A great way to round off another year of Drinks, raise a glass to Christmas and to 2024!

Event Details

Date: Thursday 11 April 2024

Time: 6pm-7pm

Location: Online via Zoom link

Cost: £7.50. Free for Idler members. SUBSCRIBE HERE.

How to join A Drink with the Idler: Non subscribers should register by clicking the BUY NOW button above. Subscribers can register by clicking the GET TICKETS button above.


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