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

John Hopkins

Sweltering Skies

Travels: Collected writings, 1950-93


Sort of Books 480pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

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

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

The Incomparible Monsignor

Kafka Drawings

Follow Literary Review on Twitter