Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Paul Bowles - Author, American expat

“I've always wanted to get as far as possible from the place where I was born. Far both geographically and spiritually. To leave it behind ... I feel that life is very short and the world is there to see and one should know as much about it as possible. One belongs to the whole world, not just one part of it.”

~ Paul Bowles 

Paul Bowles is up there in my top 10 favorite authors. I also dig the fact that he was - until his death in 1999 an expatriate. Like myself, he wasn't big on hanging around where he was born or grew up. I deeply appreciate that fact. I could never understand why people - My own family for instance - want to stay and live their lives within a 30 mile radius of where they were born. It boggles my mind.

Anyhoo, check out Bowles book "The sheltering sky" published in 1949. The novel is about post-colonial alienation and existential despair. Set in North Afria.

Paul Frederic Bowles (/blz/; December 30, 1910 – November 18, 1999) was an American expatriate composer, author, and translator. He became associated with Tangier, Morocco, where he settled in 1947 and lived for 52 years to the end of his life.
Following a cultured middle-class upbringing in New York City, during which he displayed a talent for music and writing, Bowles pursued his education at the University of Virginia before making several trips to Paris in the 1930s. He studied music with Aaron Copland, and in New York wrote music for theatrical productions, as well as other compositions. He achieved critical and popular success with his first novel The Sheltering Sky (1949), set in what was known as French North Africa, which he had visited in 1931.
In 1947 Bowles settled in Tangier, Morocco, and his wife Jane Bowles followed in 1948. Except for winters spent in Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon) during the early 1950s, Tangier was Bowles' home for the remainder of his life. He came to symbolize American expatriates in the city.
Paul Bowles died in 1999 at the age of 88. His ashes are buried near family graves in Lakemont Cemetery in upstate New York.

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