delicate prey and other storiesThe Delicate Prey and Other Stories by Paul Bowles. New York. 1950. Random House. 307 pages. Jacket design by E. McKnight Kauffer.

I first discovered the existence of Paul Bowles in an essay by Gore Vidal. At the time I was a teenager working in a small used bookstore where a large portion of my meager earnings wound up going right back to the store for books. I asked the proprietor of the store if we had any books by Paul Bowles. She pulled a volume from the shelf behind the counter saying 'Yes, and it is a first edition.' At the time I could not understand why anyone would buy a hardcover book when a paperback edition of that same book existed, but since there was no paperback copy of the book in the store I put down the cash to purchase this first edition. This was the first first edition I even purchased knowing that it was actually a first edition, and it was a good start to my book collecting mania... These are amazing stories that reminded me in some ways of Poe, but communicating to me an even stronger sense of horror alsong with a sense of the incomprehensibility of different cultures. Highly recommended !


Despite the fact that many of them have appeared in out-of-the-way places, the stories of Paul Bowles have already created a sensation among critics and low and fellow-writers. Of the seventeen stories in this volume, all but one are set in Arab North Africa, the Far East or Latin America. They share an almost Gothic preoccupation with violence - particularly that violence arising out of the clash of the Westerner with the alien world of the East.

Bowles Paul

Born December 30, 1910

Paul Frederic Bowles (December 30, 1910 – November 18, 1999) was an American expatriate composer, author, and translator. Following a cultured middle-class upbringing in New York City, during which he displayed a talent for music and writing, Bowles pursued his education at the University of Virginia before making various trips to Paris in the 1930s. He studied music with Aaron Copland, and in New York wrote music for various theatrical productions, as well as other compositions. He achieved critical and popular success with the publication in 1949 of his first novel The Sheltering Sky, set in what was known as French North Africa, which he had visited in 1931. In 1947 Bowles settled in Tangier, Morocco, and his wife, Jane Bowles followed in 1948. Except for winters spent in Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon) during the early 1950s, Tangier was his home for the remaining 52 years of his life. Paul Bowles died in 1999 at the age of 88. His ashes are buried in Lakemont Cemetery in upstate New York.



Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.



Zeno's Picks

New York Review of Books

The New York Review of Books

Recent items from nybooks.com
  • Desexing the Kinsey Institute
    The Kinsey Institute's new director Sue Carter was an unusual choice. Although she is the first biologist to head up the institute since Kinsey himself, her career has focused on rodents. Perhaps tellingly, Carter's research on vole monogamy has...
  • Desolation Row
    Lorca’s early poems are filled with elemental things, like a Miró painting—night, star, moon, bird—but they come with edges of strangeness and menace, like a Dalí painting—clock, knife, death, dream. He is never interested in just describing a...
  • As If!
    Kwame Anthony Appiah is a writer and thinker of remarkable range. He began his academic career as an analytic philosopher of language, but soon branched out to become one of the most prominent and respected philosophical voices addressing a wide...
  • Jordan Peterson & Fascist Mysticism
    It is imperative to ask why and how this obscure Canadian academic, who insists that gender and class hierarchies are ordained by nature and validated by science, has suddenly come to be hailed as the West’s most influential public intellectual....
  • In the Review Archives: 1966–1968
    Fifty-five years ago, The New York Review published its first issue. To celebrate the magazine’s emerald anniversary, in 2018 we will be going through the archives year by year, featuring some of the notable, important, and sometimes...
  • Grown Men Reading ‘Nancy’
    The appeal of Nancy to the art comic crowd might seem counter-intuitive, but while Nancy was never particularly clever, it was always cleverly constructed. In fact, the accomplishment of Nancy, with its refined, reduced...
  • Ivan Ilyin, Putin’s Philosopher of Russian Fascism
    Writing for White Russian émigrés in the 1920s and 1930s, Ivan Ilyin provided a metaphysical and moral justification for political totalitarianism, which he expressed in practical outlines for a fascist state. But his ideas have now been revived...
  • Why Irish America Is Not Evergreen
    At this St. Patrick’s Day, one could be fooled into thinking that the Irish-American community is as robust as ever. But changes to US immigration rules have largely closed the door to new entries, leading inexorably to a “graying” of Irish...
  • Beware the Big Five
    Only in recent months, with the news of the Russian hacks and trolls, have Americans begun to wonder whether the platforms they previously assumed to have facilitated free inquiry and communication are being used to manipulate them. The fact that...


The Neglected Books Page

www.NeglectedBooks.com: Where forgotten books are remembered
  • The Intellectual Lover and Other Stories, by David Freedman (1940)
    I have such hopes for The Intellectual Lover and other Stories, a collection of short stories written by David Freedman, a Romanian Jew who emigrated to the U.S. as a toddler, proved a prodigy at chess, and, after graduating from City College, became one of the most successful writers of jokes, sketches, and other material... Read more
  • The Weekend Man, by Richard B. Wright (1970)
    There’s a sure-fire way to improve your chances of having your work ignored by English-reading audiences: Be Canadian. Even if your work is published in the U.S. and gets enthusiastic reviews, you have a better chance of joining the ranks of Richard B. Wright than those of the few exceptions to the rule, such as... Read more
  • Digging for Mrs. Miller, by John Strachey (1941)
    Digging for Mrs. Miller (1941) illustrates how, in the right hands, simple, undramatic, and limpid prose can have a stunning impact. Originally published as Post D in England, Digging for Mrs. Miller is John Strachey’s thinly-fictionalized account of his experiences working as an air raid warden during the most intense months of the Blitz in... Read more
  • Faces of Philip: A Memoir of Philip Toynbee, by Jessica Mitford (1984)
    Jessica Mitford describes Faces of Philip: A Memoir of Philip Toynbee as “A record of events, not purporting to be a complete history, but treating of such matters as come within the personal knowledge of the writer, or are obtained from certain particular sources of information.” With such a qualification, one can excuse the fact... Read...
  • Mr. Eliot and Wystan, from As I Walked Down New Grub Street, by Walter Allen (1981)
    I have always thought of him as Mr. Eliot. When I went to London I ran into people who referred to him as Tom Eliot: I soon realised this did not always mean that they had met him. I saw him many times, so often indeed that it seemed to me that ifyou had your... Read more
  • I, Too, Have Lived in Arcadia, by Marie Belloc-Lowndes (1941)
    In the last summer of my mother’s life, I was sitting with her on the little lawn of her cottage in Sussex, when she said suddenly, “I feel it is wrong to repine as life goes on, for I can always say to myself, ‘I, too, have lives in Arcadia.” She must have seen that... Read more
  • If Hopes Were Dupes, by Catherine York (Pseudonym of Ann Farrer) (1966)
    Reading Jessica Mitford’s memoir of the critic, novelist, and poet Philip Toynbee, The Faces of Philip (1984), I stumbled across a mention of a book that turns out not only to be neglected but (at the moment) unattainable outside a couple dozen libraries: Ann Farrer’s 1966 memoir of her struggles with depression and the relatively... Read...
  • Lord, I Was Afraid, by Nigel Balchin (1947)
    I have a mild fascination with unreadable books. Mild because I often lack the courage or persistence to take them on, fascination because I often have the nagging sense that I should. By “unreadable,” I don’t mean truly unreadable, like the book of Pi to the millionth digit or whatever length it is, but dauntingly... Read more
  • Fido Couchant, by P. B. Abercrombie (1961)
    I’ve reached the point where I’m no longer surprised to find that even after decades of looking for neglected books, I can still stumble across completely unfamiliar books and authors. A perfect example is P. B. (short for Patricia Barnes) Abercrombie, who wrote about eight novels, most of them comedies, between the early 1950s and... Read more
  • The Rat, by G. M. A. Hewett (1904)
    It’s something of a guilty pleasure to come across a children’s book that doesn’t exactly seem to have been written with children in mind. Take The Rat, by G. M. A. (George Mottram Arthur) Hewett, the first in a series of “Animal Autobiographies” published by Adam and Charles Black in the early 1900s. I give... Read more
Copyright © 2018 Zenosbooks. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU General Public License.