jane bowles

Authors > Jane Bowles


Jane Bowles wrote very little: just one novel – Two Serious Ladies; a play – In the Summer House and just over a dozen short stories, collected together with some notable letters in our edition of Everything is Nice. It was enough to establish a reputation as one of the twentieth century’s most original fiction writers.

Born Jane Auer, in New York City in 1917, she married the author Paul Bowles – somewhat impulsively, as both pursued primarily same-sex relationships. They were nonetheless devoted companions, living in Tangier, in adjoining apartments.

At the age of 40, Jane Bowles suffered a debilitating stroke, which brought an early end to her writing. She died in 1973.

The official Paul Bowles website has a number of sections devoted to Jane Bowles, including a short biography by Millicent Dillon (who wrote Jane’s biography and edited her letters), as well as galleries of photographs. And here is a fine assessment of Jane’s work by Chris Power in The Guardian.



One of the finest modern writers of fiction in any language ... no other writer can consistently produce surprise of this quality, the surprise that is the one essential ingredient of great art.
— John Ashbury

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