Paul Bowles: The Sheltering Sky

(2400 words)
  • Raj Chandarlapaty (Independent Scholar - North America)

Paul Bowles’s longtime friend, playwright Tennessee Williams, had this to say about Bowles’s first novel:

There is a curiously double level to this novel. The surface is enthralling as narrative. It is impressive as writing. But above that surface is the aura that I spoke of, intangible and powerful, bringing to mind one of those clouds that you have seen in summer, close to the horizon and dark in color and now and then silently pulsing with interior flashes of fire. And that is the surface of the novel that has filled me with such excitement. (11)

The true significance of The Sheltering Sky, written about Bowles’s travels in 1931 and then in 1947-8 in North Africa, has b…

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Chandarlapaty, Raj. "The Sheltering Sky". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 May 2011
[, accessed 30 June 2015.]