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The Sheltering Sky : Popular Penguins - Paul Bowles

The Sheltering Sky : Popular Penguins

Paperback

Published: 28th June 2010
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The Moresby's are Americans abroad, but some journeys are best left unmade… Struggling to save their marriage, they resolve to trade civilization for the wilderness of the Sahara. At first, the pair are seduced by the deserts beauty. But beneath the exquisite landscape lurk the dark undercurrents of an alien culture, and the relentless dangers of a hostile natural world. And as they travel deeper, they might not only lose their way. They could lose their lives . . .

About The Author

Paul Bowles was born in Jamaica, New York, in 1910. He began composing music and writing stories at a very early age, and at sixteen some of his poetry was published in the French literary magazine transition. At the age of eighteen he began his travels to Europe, North Africa, Mexico and Central America. A student of Aaron Copland, Bowles established his reputation early as a gifted composer. In 1945 he returned to writing short stories and by 1947, when he went to live in Tangier, fiction had become his major focus. He wrote four novels, The Sheltering Sky, Let it Come Down, The Spider's House and Up Above the World; one hundred short stories; a book of poetry; and many travel essays. He lived in Tangier until his death in November 1999.

In his obituary The Times described Bowles as 'one of the most unusual, unconventional and gifted men of his time', and the Independent wrote: 'Bowles was a mystic, a man of many abilities . . . he will be seen as a major twentieth-century writer'.

1

He awoke, opened his eyes. The room meant very little to him; he was too deeply immersed in the non-being from which he had just come. If he had not the energy to ascertain his position in time and space, he also lacked the desire. He was somewhere, he had come back through vast regions from nowhere; there was the certi­tude of an infinite sadness at the core of his conscious­ness, but the sadness was reassuring, because it alone was familiar. He needed no further consolation. In utter comfort, utter relaxation he lay absolutely still for a while, and then sank into one of the light momentary sleeps that occur after a long, profound one. Suddenly he opened his eyes again and looked at the watch on his wrist. It was purely a reflex action, for when he saw the time he was only confused. He sat up, gazed around the tawdry room, put his hand to his forehead, and sighing deeply, fell back onto the bed. But now he was awake; in another few seconds he knew where he was, he knew that the time was late afternoon, and that he had been sleeping since lunch. In the next room he could hear his wife stepping about in her mules on the smooth tile floor, and this sound now comforted him, since he had reached another level of consciousness where the mere certitude of being alive was not sufficient. But how difficult it was to accept the high, narrow room with its beamed ceiling, the huge apathetic designs stencilled in indifferent colours around the walls, the closed window of red and orange glass. He yawned: there was no air in the room. Later he would climb down from the high bed and fling the window open, and at that moment he would remember his dream. For although he could not recall a detail of it, he knew he had dreamed. On the other side of the window there would be air, the roofs, the town, the sea. The evening wind would cool his face as he stood looking, and at that moment the dream would be there. Now he only could lie as he was, breathing slowly, almost ready to fall asleep again, paralysed in the airless room, not waiting for twilight but staying as he was until it should come.

ISBN: 9780141195131
ISBN-10: 0141195134
Series: Popular Penguins
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 28th June 2010
Dimensions (cm): 18.1 x 11.2
Weight (kg): 18.0
Edition Number: 1