Sheltering Sky (Penguin Red Classics)

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9780141023427: Sheltering Sky (Penguin Red Classics)

Some journeys are best left unmade.Kit and Port Moresby are Americans abroad. Struggling to save their marriage, they resolve to trade civilization for the wilderness of the Sahara. At first, the pair are seduced by the desert's 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...

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Review:

American novelist and short-story writer, poet, translator, classical music composer, and filmscorer Paul Bowles has lived as an expatriate for more than 40 years in the North African nation of Morocco, a country that reaches into the vast and inhospitable Sahara Desert. The desert is itself a character in The Sheltering Sky, the most famous of Bowles' books, which is about three young Americans of the postwar generation who go on a walkabout into Northern Africa's own arid heart of darkness. In the process, the veneer of their lives is peeled back under the author's psychological inquiry.

From the Back Cover:

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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