The Sheltering Sky

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A beautiful paperback edition of a landmark of 20th Century literature, by acclaimed author Paul Bowles

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 dessert.

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About the author

Paul Bowles was born in 1910 and studied music with composer Aaron Copland before moving to Tangier, Morocco. A devastatingly imaginative observer of the West's encounter with the East, he is the author of four highly acclaimed novels: The Sheltering Sky, Let It Come Down, The Spider's House, and Up Above the World. In addition to being one of the most powerful postwar American novelists, Bowles was an acclaimed composer, a travel writer, a poet, a translator, and a short story writer. He died in Morocco in 1999.

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Reviews

3.6
45 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Harper Collins
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Published on
Dec 6, 2011
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9780062119339
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Classics
Fiction / Historical
Fiction / Psychological
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Paul Bowles
In the nineteenth century there flourished a peculiar breed of Englishmen—often the second sons of the aristocracy, or ambitious men from a lower class—who as soldiers, consuls and tea planters, were largely responsible for making England a great colonial power.

Save for the fact that he is a staunch anticolonialist, Paul Bowles resembles these men in many respects. Like them, he appears to be happiest away from civilization as we know it; like them, he thrives when the traveling is hardest, the food ghastly or infrequent, water scarce, heat intolerable, or mosquitoes abundant.

This engaging collection of eight travel essays by the author of such noted fiction as The Sheltering Sky and The Delicate Prey deals largely with places in the world that few Westerners have ever heard of, much less seen—places as yet unencumbered by the trappings, luxuries, and corruptions of modern civilization. Except for one essay on Central America, all of these pieces are concerned with remote spots in the Hindu, Buddhist, or Mohammedan worlds. The author is a sympathetic and discerning interpreter of these alien cultures, and his eyes and ears are especially alert both to what is bizarre and what is wise in the civilizations in which he settles. He is also acutely aware of the transitions occurring on the fringes of many of these regions, and he is disturbed and indignant about the corrosive effect of Western culture on the non-Christian way of life.

Above all, however, Paul Bowles is a superb and observant traveler—born wanderer who finds pleasure in the inaccessible and who cheerfully endures the concomitant hardships matter-of-factly and with humor.

These essays provide us with Paul Bowles’s characteristic insightfulness and bring us closer to a world we frequently hear about, but often find difficult to understand.
Henry Veltmeyer
In recent years, much mainstream development discourse has sought to co-opt and neutralize key concepts relating to empowerment, participation, gender, sustainability and inclusivity in order to serve a market-driven, neoliberal agenda. Critical development studies now play a crucial role in combatting this by analyzing the systemic changes needed to transform the current world to one where economic and social justice and environmental integrity prevail.
The Essential Guide to Critical Development Studies takes as its starting point the multiple crises – economic, political, social and environmental – of the dominant current global capitalist system. The chapters collectively document and analyze these crises and the need to find alternatives to the system(s) that generate them. To do so, analyses of class, gender and empire are placed at the centre of discussion, in contrast to markets, liberalization and convergence, which characterize mainstream development discourse. Each contributor supplements their overview with a guide to the critical development studies literature on the topic, thereby providing scholars and students not only with a precis of the key issues, but also a signpost to further readings.
This is an important resource for academics, researchers, policymakers and professionals in the areas of development studies, political science, sociology, economics, gender studies, history, anthropology, agrarian studies, international relations and international political economy.
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