Annotations for Sheltering Sky


Baker & Taylor
A married couple and a male hanger-on whose lives reflect the sterility of modern existence travel to North Africa seeking and escaping from things unclear to themselves

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Blackwell North Amer
In this classic work of psychological terror, Paul Bowles examines the ways in which Americans apprehend an alien culture - and the ways in which their incomprehension destroys them. The story of three American travelers adrift in the cities and deserts of North Africa after World War II, The Sheltering Sky is at once merciless and heartbreaking in its compassion. It etches the limits of human reason and intelligence - perhaps even the limits of human life - when they touch the unfathomable emptiness and impassive cruelty of the desert.

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HARPERCOLL

When The Sheltering Sky was first published in 1949, it established Paul Bowles as one of the most singular and promising writers of the postwar generation. Its startlingly original vision has withstood the test of time and confirmed Tennessee Williams's early estimation: "The Sheltering Sky alone of the books that I have . . . read by American authors appears to bear the spiritual imprint of recent history in the western world." In this classic work of psychological terror, Bowles examines the ways in which Americans apprehend an alien culture and the ways in which their incomprehension destroys them.

The story of three worldly young travelers Port Moresby, his wife, Kit, and their friend, Tunner--adrift in the cities and deserts of North Africa after World War II, The Sheltering Sky is merciless in its evocation of the emotional dislocation induced by a foreign setting. As the Americans embark on an ill-fated journey through desolate terrain, they are pushed to the limits of human reason and intelligence by the unfathomable emptiness and impassive cruelty of the desert. Along the way, they encounter a host of enigmatic characters whose inarticulate strangeness seals the travelers off even more completely from the culture in which they are traveling, causing their fierce attachments to one another to unravel.

This special fiftieth anniversary commemorative edition of Bowles's unforgettable first novel includes the original New York Times review by Tennessee Williams and a preface the author wrote for his first novel before he died in 1999.



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