Travels: Collected writings, 1950-93 by Paul Bowles - review by John Hopkins

John Hopkins

Sweltering Skies

Travels: Collected writings, 1950-93

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When entering Paul Bowles’s flat in Tangier the first thing you noticed were the suitcases. Piled high, the well-travelled cases were exotically decorated with steamship tags and first-class hotel stickers detailing his worldwide wanderings: Paris, Rome, Madrid, Mexico, Central America, Morocco, Algeria, Kenya, India, Turkey and Ceylon. His friend Brion Gysin quipped that Paul kept those suitcases stuffed with traveller’s cheques in case he had to make a quick exit from Tangier.

Whenever possible he went by ship, and he did not travel light. He and his wife Jane sailed with two steamer trunks, twenty valises, and sometimes a parrot. Photographs invariably show him stylishly attired in a double-breasted woollen suit, cigarette-holder in hand, against a sweltering background of desert

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