The short fiction of American literary cult figure Paul Bowles is marked by a unique, delicately spare style, and a dark, rich, exotic mood, by turns chilling, ironic, and wrypossessing a symmetry between beauty and terror that is haunting and ultimately moral. In "Pastor Dowe at TecatÉ," a Protestant missionary is sent to a faraway place where his God has no power. In "Call at CorazÓn," an American husband abandons his alcoholic wife on their honeymoon in a South American jungle. In "Allal," a boy's drug-induced metamorphosis into a deadly serpent leads to his violent death. Here also are some of Bowles's most famous works, including "The Delicate Prey," a grimly satisfying tale of vengeance, and "A Distant Episode," which Tennessee Williams proclaimed "a masterpiece."
About the Author
Paul Bowles was born in Queens, New York, in 1910. He began his travels as a teenager, setting off for Paris, telling no one of his plans. In 1930 he visited Morocco for the first time, with Aaron Copland, with whom he was studying music. His early reputation was as a composer and he wrote the scores for several Tennessee Williams plays. Bowles married the writer Jane Auer in 1938, and after the war the couple settled in Tangier. In Morocco Bowles turned principally to fiction. The Sheltering Skyinspired by his travels in the Saharawas a New York Times bestseller in 1950, and has gone on to sell more than 250,000 copies. It was followed by three further novels, numerous short stories, nonfiction, and translations. Bowles died in Tangier in 1999.