Synopses & Reviews
When The Sheltering Sky
was first published in 1949, it established Paul Bowles as one of the most singular and promising writers of the postwar generation. Its startlingly original vision has withstood the test of time and confirmed Tennessee Williams's early estimation: "The Sheltering Sky
alone of the books that I have . . . read by American authors appears to bear the spiritual imprint of recent history in the western world." In this classic work of psychological terror, Bowles examines the ways in which Americans apprehend an alien culture and the ways in which their incomprehension destroys them.
The story of three worldly young travelers Port Moresby, his wife, Kit, and their friend, Tunner--adrift in the cities and deserts of North Africa after World War II, The Sheltering Sky is merciless in its evocation of the emotional dislocation induced by a foreign setting. As the Americans embark on an ill-fated journey through desolate terrain, they are pushed to the limits of human reason and intelligence by the unfathomable emptiness and impassive cruelty of the desert. Along the way, they encounter a host of enigmatic characters whose inarticulate strangeness seals the travelers off even more completely from the culture in which they are traveling, causing their fierce attachments to one another to unravel.
This special fiftieth anniversary commemorative edition of Bowles's unforgettable first novel includes the original New York Times review by Tennessee Williams and a preface the author wrote for his first novel before he died in 1999.
Upon its original publication in 1949, The Sheltering Sky established Paul Bowles as one of the most singular and promising writers of the post-war generation. In this classic work, Bowles examines the ways in which three American travelers apprehend an alien culture in the cities and deserts of North Africa after World War II -- and the ways in which their incomprehension destroys them. The Sheltering Sky is at once merciless and heartbreaking in its compassion.
A testament to Bowles's enduring vision, this groundbreaking novel exhibits the stark, dispassionate objectivity that prefigured and shaped much of today's literary landscape.
About the Author
Paul Bowles was born in 1910 and studied music with composer Aaron Copland before moving toTangier, Morocco, with his wife, Jane. He remained in Morocco, and- it served as the inspiration for The Sheltering Sky, which waspublished in 1949. It was followed by TheDelicate Prey, Let It Come Down, The Spider'sHouse and Without Stopping, a memoir thatdescribes his legendary associations with members of the Beat Generation. Bowles's prolific career included many musical compositions, collections of short fiction, and books of traveland poetry and translations.