Too Far from Home: The Selected Writings of Paul Bowles

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A strlklng collectlon of storles, poems, letters, travel essays, journal entrles, excerpts from three novels, and more - lncludlng the complete text of The Shelterlng Sky - from one of the most revered authors of the twentleth century

For over forty-five years, Paul Bowles has been one of this century's most enigmatic and intriguing writers, best known for his novel The Sheltering Sky. This striking collection highlights Bowles's undeniable virtuosity and brings ...

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This is the hardcover stated Ecco First Edition from 1993. Both the DJ and the book are in positively excellent condition. There are no rips, tears, markings, etc. and the pages ... and binding are tight. This wonderful, impossible-to-find item is available for purchase now! Due to the vagaries of market fluctuations, an item may occasionally seem overvalued. To compensate for that possibility, all serious buyers are welcome to make a best offer on each and every item listed, with the assurance that ALL reasonable offers will be accepted. Read more Show Less

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1993 Hard cover First edition. New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 697 p. Ecco Companions. Audience: General/trade. This is the hardcover stated Ecco First ... Edition from 1993. Both the DJ and the book are in positively excellent condition. There are no rips, tears, markings, etc. and the pages and binding are tight. This wonderful, impossible-to-find item is available for purchase now! Due to the vagaries of market fluctuations, an item may occasionally seem overvalued. To compensate for that possibility, all serious buyers are welcome to make a best offer on each and every item listed, with the assurance that ALL reasonable offers will be accepted. Read more Show Less

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Overview

A strlklng collectlon of storles, poems, letters, travel essays, journal entrles, excerpts from three novels, and more - lncludlng the complete text of The Shelterlng Sky - from one of the most revered authors of the twentleth century

For over forty-five years, Paul Bowles has been one of this century's most enigmatic and intriguing writers, best known for his novel The Sheltering Sky. This striking collection highlights Bowles's undeniable virtuosity and brings together for the first time his finest work including a new unpublished novella, Too Far From Home, and previously unpublished letters.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
For serious students of Bowles and for rank neophytes, this collection is a good buy. For others, probably not. The volume includes the complete text of The Sheltering Sky and excerpts from three other novels; several stories from The Delicate Prey and other collections; a smattering of poems; travel writing from Their Heads Are Green and Their Hands Are Blue ; some 50 pages from the autobiographical Without Stopping and another 20 from Days: Tangier Journal 1987-1989 and an interview with editor Halpern, whose brief preface recalls his early encounters with Bowles and their collaboration on the literary magazine Antaeus . There are also nine letters of a rather banausic turn, which may be why they have not been published until now. The main attraction is the title novella, written recently and first published here. It has all the makings of classic Bowles: an American brother and sister in Mali's Gao region face the country and themselves. But at some 35 pages, it is too short for Bowles to paint the cumulative portraits he is known for, and the dark fable at the story's heart is overwhelmed by such ultimately sterile devices as the sister's letters home and the brother's pseudo-flirtation with a French widow. (Feb.)
Brad Hooper
The recent (and very successfully) filmed version of his 1949 novel, "The Sheltering Sky", brought increased public awareness to a writer who has generally been regarded more as a "writer's writer" than as a popular one. Let's hope this new Bowles reader will further the cause of his widespread appreciation, for no one who imagines himself or herself to be well read should be unaware of his vivid work. Bowles, American born, has been a resident of Morocco since 1947; North Africa imbues his writing as much as the nature of the American South permeates the writing from that locale. His abiding interest in the clash of alien and native cultures in this environment is scintillatingly evident in the aforementioned "Sheltering Sky", which is presented here in full, and that theme surfaces time and again in the other writings gathered here. Sizable excerpts from three other novels are included; a novella, "Too Far from Home", is published for the first time in this collection, next to a wonderful sampling of his short stories, which rank among the finest written by an American in this century. His travel essays are exemplary, his poems interesting; letters, journal entries, a snippet of his autobiography, and an interview he gave to poet and editor Daniel Halpern round out this moving tribute to an exceptional writer and arresting individual.
From Barnes & Noble
Includes the complete novel The Sheltering Sky, plus excerpts from several other novels, stories, poems, travel essays, journals, letters, and an interview with the writer conducted by Daniel Halpern in Tangier in 1970.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780880012959
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/26/1999
  • Series: Ecco Companions Series
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 697
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.49 (h) x 2.06 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Bowles was born in 1910 and studied music with Aaron Copland before moving to Tangier, Morocco. A devastatingly imaginative observer of the West's encounter with the East, he is the author of four highly acclaimed novels: The Sheltering Sky, Let It Come Down, The Spider's House, and Up Above the World. In addition to being one of the most powerful postwar American novelists, Bowles was an acclaimed composer, a travel writer, a poet, a translator, and a short-story writer. He died in Morocco in 1999.

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Read an Excerpt

Too Far from Home

The Selected Writings of Paul Bowles
By Paul Bowles

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Paul Bowles
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0061137405

Chapter One

From: The Sheltering Sky

He walked through the streets, unthinkingly seeking the darker ones, glad to be alone and to feel the night air against his face. The streetswere crowded. People pushed against him as they passed, stared from doorways and windows, made comments openly to each other about him-whether with sympathy or not he was unable to tell from their faces-and they sometimes ceased to walk merely in order to watch him.

"How friendly are they? Their faces are masks. They all look a thousand years old. What little energy they have is only the blind, mass desire to live, since no one of them eats enough to give him his own personal force. But what do they think of me? Probably nothing. Would one of them help me if I were to have an accident? Or would I lie here in the street until the police found me? What motive could any one of them have for helping me? They have no religion left. Are they Moslems or Christians? They don't know. They know money, and when they get it, all they want is to eat. But what's wrong with that? Why do I feel this way about them? Guilt at being well fed and healthy among them? But suffering is equally divided among all men; each has the same amount to undergo. . . ." Emotionally he felt that this last idea was untrue, but at the moment it was a necessary belief. itis not always easy to support the stares of hungry people. Thinking that way he could walk on through the streets. It was as if either he or they did not exist. Both suppositions were possible. The Spanish maid at the hotel had said to him that noon: "La vida es pena." "Of course," he had replied, feeling false even as he spoke, asking himself if any American can truthfully accept a definition of life which makes it synonymous with suffering. But at the moment he had approved her sentiment because she was old, withered, so clearly of the people. For years it had been one of his superstitions that reality and true perception were to be found in the conversation of the laboring classes. Even though now he saw clearly that their formulas of thought and speech are as strict and as patterned, and thus as far removed from any profound expression of truth as those of any other class, often he found himself still in the act of waiting, with the unreasoning belief that gems of wisdom might yet issue from their mouths. As he walked along, his nervousness was made manifest to him by the sudden consciousness that he was repeatedly tracing rapid figure-eights with his right index finger. He sighed and made himself stop doing it.

His spirits rose a bit as he came out onto a square that was relatively brightly lighted. The cafes on all four sides of the little plaza had put tables and chairs not only across the sidewalks, but in the street as well, so that it would have been impossible for a vehicle to pass through without upsetting them. in the center of the square was a tiny park adorned by four plane trees that had been trimmed to look like open parasols. Underneath the trees there were at least a dozen dogs of various sizes, milling about in a close huddle, and all barking frantically. He made his way slowly across the square, trying to avoid the dogs. As he moved along cautiously under the trees he became aware that at each step he was crushing something beneath his feet. The ground was covered with large insects; their hard shells broke with little explosions that were quite audible to him even amidst the noise the dogs were making. He was aware that ordinarily he would have experienced a thrill of disgust on contact with such a phenomenon, but unreasonably tonight he felt instead a childish triumph. "I' m in abad way and so what?" The few scattered people sitting at the tables were for the most part silent, but when they spoke, he heard all three of the town's tongues: Arabic, Spanish and French.

Slowly the street began to descend; this surprised him because he imagined that the entire town was built on the slope facing the harbor, and he had consciously chosen to walk inland rather than toward the waterfront. The odors in the air grew ever stronger. They were varied, but they all represented filth of one sort or another. This proximity with, as it were, a forbidden element, served to elate him. He abandoned himself to the perverse pleasure he found in continuing mechanically to put one foot in front of the other, even though he was quite clearly aware of his fatigue. "Suddenly I'll find myself turning around and going back," he thought. But not until then, because he would not make the decision to do it. The impulse to retrace his steps delayed itself from moment to moment. Finally he ceased being surprised: a faint vision began to haunt his mind. It was Kit, seated by the open window, filing her nails and looking out over the town. And as he found his fancy returning more often, as the minutes went by, to that scene, unconsciously he felt himself the protagonist, Kit the spectator. The validity of his existence at that moment was predicated on the assumption that she had not moved, but was still sitting there. it was as if she could still see him from the window, tiny and far away as he was, walking rhythmically uphill and down, through light and shadow; it was as if only she knew when he would turn around and walk the other way.

The street lights were very far apart now, and the streets had left off being paved. Still there were children in the gutters, playing with the garbage and screeching. A small stone suddenly hit him in the back. He wheeled about, but it was too dark to see where it had come from. A few seconds later another stone, coming from in front of him, landed against his knee.

Continues...

Excerpted from Too Far from Home by Paul Bowles Copyright © 2006 by Paul Bowles. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
Novels
The Sheltering Sky 3
from Up Above the World 220
from Let It Come Down 252
from The Spider's House 277
Novella
Too Far from Home 295
Stories
The Delicate Prey 331
A Distant Episode 339
Call at Corazon 350
Pages from Cold Point 362
The Circular Valley 382
At Paso Rojo 390
Pastor Dowe at Tacate 406
He of the Assembly 426
The Time of Friendship 440
Tangier 1975 468
Allal 473
In the Red Room 483
Historical Tales
from Points in Time 495
Poems
Delicate Song 513
No Village 514
Next to Nothing 520
Travel Essays
Africa Minor 529
Notes Mailed at Nagercoil 543
A Man Must Not Be Very Moslem 555
Baptism of Solitude 571
Autobiography
from Without Stopping 585
Journals
from Days 637
Letters
Selected Letters: 1947-1980 657
Interview
An Interview with Paul Bowles 677
Bibliography 695
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