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Literary Collections Letters

In Touch

The Letters of Paul Bowles

by (author) Paul Bowles

edited by Jeffrey Miller

Farrar Straus & Giroux
Initial publish date
Oct 1995
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 1995
    List Price

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This extraordinary collection of correspondence by Paul Bowles spans eight decades and provides an evolving portrait of an artist renowned for his privacy. From his earliest extant letter, written at the age of four, to his precocious effusions to Aaron Copeland and to Gertrude Stein; from his meditations on mescaline as relayed to Ned Rorem, to his intensely moving letters to Jane Bowles during her illness, In Touch fills in the lacunae left by previous biographers and offers a rare look at the many aspects of Bowles's brilliant career—as composer, novelist, short-story master, travel writer, translator, ethnographer, and literary critic.
Here is Bowles on the genesis of his first novel, The Sheltering Sky; on his distaste for Western melodies and his dogged attempts to record indigenous Moroccan music; on the Beats, Gore Vidal, Truman Capote, and Tennessee Williams; on the nature and craft of writing; on Bernardo Bertolucci, David Byrne, and Sting; on the decline of American and the challenges of living in North Africa. Gossipy, reflective, enlightening, and always entertaining, In Touch stands as an epistolary autobiography of one of the legendary writers of our time, and a unique chronicle of the twentieth-century avant-garde.

About the authors

Contributor Notes

Paul Bowles's novels include The Sheltering Sky, The Spider's House, and Let It Come Down. He is also the author of numerous short stories, travel essays, and translations, as well as an autobiography, Without Stopping, and a journal, Days. He lives in Tangier, Morocco.
Jeffrey Miller is the author of Paul Bowles: A Descriptive Bibliography, and is the publisher of Cadmus Editions in Tiburon, California. He has been collecting the letters of Paul Bowles for nearly twenty years.

Editorial Reviews

“[Bowles' letters] are full of dazzling descriptions of faraway places. . . . [The collection] is a fascinating, tonic history of the counterculture.” —Kirkus Reviews
“It's the beauty of Bowles' writing that makes In Touch especially engaging.” —Entertainment Weekly

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