The Sheltering Sky

The Sheltering Sky

Let It Come Down ; The Spider's House

Book - 2002
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Penguin Putnam
Paul Bowles had already established himself as an important composer when at age 39 he published The Sheltering Sky and became recognized as one of the most powerful writers of the postwar period. From his base in Tangier he produced globally ranging novels, stories, and travel writings that set exquisite surfaces over violent undercurrents. His elegantly spare novels chart the unpredictable collisions between "civilized" exiles and a Morocco they never grasp, achieving effects of extreme horror and dislocation.

This Library of America Bowles set, the first annotated edition, offers the full range of his achievement: the portrait of an outsider who was one of the essential American writers of the last century. In addition to his novels-The Sheltering Sky (1949), Let It Come Down (1952), The Spider's House (1955), Up Above the World (1966)-and his collected stories-including such classics as "A Distant Episode" and "Pages from Cold Point"-they contain his masterpiece of travel writing, Their Heads Are Green and Their Hands Are Blue (1963). Throughout, Bowles shows himself a master of gothic terror and a diabolically funny observer of manners as well as a prescient guide to everything from the roots of Islamist politics to the world of Moghrebi music. With a hallucinatory clarity as dry and unforgiving as the desert air, Bowles sends his characters toward encounters with unknown and terrifying forces both outside them and within them.

Baker & Taylor
Contains the American author's first three novels, accompanied by a chronology of his life and works, notes on the texts, and a glossary.

Publisher: New York : Library of America, [2002]
Copyright Date: ©2002
ISBN: 9781931082198
Branch Call Number: FICTION BOWLE...P
Characteristics: 938 pages ; 21 cm


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Feb 14, 2017

I read The Sheltering Sky and Let it Come Down but didn't quite make it to the last novel in this volume, The Spider's House. The first two novels are definitely quite brilliant and disturbing. One can feel the alien landscapes of northern Africa in these books. I read somewhere that The Spider's House was possibly Bowles best novel so I will read it one day.

Aug 21, 2010

One of the best pieces of 20th century fine literature I have read. Bowles eloquently addresses the post-colonial subjects of the Other and Edward Said's orientalism in a precise and artful manner, with a bit of humor besides. This piece is as relevant today as it was upon first publication in reflection of our conceited attempt to avoid being the "tourist."


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