An author most well known for his first book, The Sheltering Sky
, published in 1949
. Bowles' work served as inspiration to the Beat generation
. He became very close to several well-loved writers such as William Burroughs
and Allen Ginsberg
. Gertrude Stein
once told him that he was "not a real poet."
Bowles was born to Claude Dietz Bowles and Rena Winnewisser Bowles in 1910. He grew up in New York but traveled extensively, and married Jane Sydney Auer in 1938. The couple lived in numerous places including Mexico, Brooklyn Heights and Sri Lanka. Both husband and wife were said to be bisexual. Bowles eventually became an expatriate and after 1947 he and his wife spent the rest of their life in Tangier. Jane Bowles died in 1973 (a rumor exists that her lover, Cherifa, poisoned her) and Paul died in 1999.
Bowles also studied music with composer Aaron Copland. Along with a prolific writing career he has composed chamber works, opera and Broadway music.
The Sheltering Sky is a fascinating read about a Western couple traveling through the harsh, indifferent but beautiful Sahara. A movie was also made about the book starring Debra Winger and John Malkovich.
Other books by Bowles include Let it Come Down, The Spider's House, Up Above the World and Points in Time.
There is a book about the life of Bowles called "Let it Come Down," which I have not read, but given his life, I can imagine it being an interesting read.
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