Bowles, Jane, 1917-1973

Alternative names

Hide Profile

American writer.

From the description of Jane Bowles Collection, 1944-1966. (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRC); University of Texas at Austin). WorldCat record id: 122602047

American expatriate author.

From the description of Papers of Jane Bowles, 1966-1967. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 32136010

The author Jane Auer Bowles, 1917-1973, published one novel, Two Serious Ladies (1943); one play, In the Summer House (1954); and a short story collection, Plain Pleasures (1966). The Collected Works of Jane Bowles (1966) combined these works in one volume. My Sister's Hand in Mine (1978) is an expanded edition of The Collected Works, containing an additional six short stories previously published only in magazines. A posthumously published collection of the short stories and a selection of letters, Feminine Wiles, appeared in 1976. Additional arrangements of her work, including some previously unpublished notebook material, and letters, were published under the titles of Out in the World: Selected Letters of Jane Bowles (1985) and Everything Is Nice: The Collected Works of Jane Bowles (1989).

The only child of Sidney and Claire Stajer Auer, Jane Stajer Auer was born February 22, 1917, in New York City. The Auer family moved to Woodmere, Long Island, when Jane was ten years old. Upon her father's death in 1930, Jane and her mother returned to New York City for two years before moving to Leysin, Switzerland, where Jane received treatment for tuberculosis of the knee. After returning to New York in 1934, Jane decided to be a writer; her first work, Le Phaéton Hypocrite (manuscript lost), was completed in 1936. Jane married the writer-composer Paul Bowles on February 21, 1938. Following their marriage, they traveled to Latin America and Europe and briefly resided in New York. After 1948, they lived in Tangier, Morocco, but continued to make frequent visits to Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Although both were bisexual and they often lived apart, the Bowles' marriage endured until Jane's death in 1973. Among their wide circle of friends and acquaintances were literary, musical, and theatrical figures, such as Tennessee Williams, Libby Holman, William S. Burroughs, Peggy Guggenheim, and Virgil Thomson. Another important figure in Jane Bowles's life was her Arab housekeeper and lover, Cherifa.

Jane Bowles's active period as a writer only lasted for about ten years; she always experienced difficulty in writing, but by 1950 this difficulty, worsened by alcohol, became complete writer's block. In 1957, at the age of 39, Jane Bowles suffered a severe stroke which left her with acute aphasia and vision impairment. She made several attempts to continue writing but was unable to complete any work, due in part to the effects of her heavy dependence on alcohol and prescription drugs. By 1967, her mental and physical health deteriorated to the point that Paul Bowles placed her in a psychiatric hospital in Málaga, Spain. The following year she was moved to the Clínica de los Angeles in Málaga. In 1969, she returned to Tangier for four months but had to be readmitted to the convent hospital where she died on May 4, 1973.

More information about Jane Bowles may be found in Millicent Dillon's A Little Original Sin: The Life and Works of Jane Bowles (Holt, Rinehart, Winston, 1981).

From the guide to the Jane Auer Bowles Collection TXRC99-A16., 1944-1966, (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Bowles, Jane Auer, 1917-1973. Two serious ladies : autograph manuscript notebook, [ca. 1940]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Paul Bowles letters to Nathalie Blondel, 1987–1990 University of Delaware Library - Special Collections
referencedIn Paul Bowles Collection TXRC99-A15., 1897-1995 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Miscellaneous screen, stage, and radio scripts, ca. 1859-2007. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Dillon, Millicent. Papers, 1905-1990 (bulk 1935-1986). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Bowles, Paul, 1910-1999. Paul Bowles Collection, 1897-1995. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Herbert Machiz records concerning the Artists' Theatre, New York, 1954-1976. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
creatorOf Burden, Carter,. Statement in behalf of a poet : copy of a typed statement in support of Tennessee Williams's play Camino Real, [1957]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Bowles, Paul, 1910-1999. Papers of Paul Bowles, 1933-1985 (bulk 1967-1985). Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Bowles, Paul, 1910-1999. Papers of Paul Bowles, 1965-1974 [manuscript]. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Burroughs, William S., 1914-1997. Memoir : of William S. Burroughs, [1956-1958]. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Allanah Harper Papers TXRC99-A8., 1931-1993 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Christopher Isherwood Collection TXRC93-A2., 1883-1970 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Williams, Tennessee, 1911-1983. Tennessee Williams papers, 1932-1983. Harvard University, Harvard Theater Collection, Harvard College Library
referencedIn In the summer house archive, 1950-1953. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Bowles, Paul, 1910-1999. Letters : to Oliver Evans, 1963-72. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Paul Bowles correspondence with John Widdicombe, 1929–1975, 1929–1935 University of Delaware Library - Special Collections
referencedIn Brown, Andreas. [Paul and Jane Bowles materials]. San Diego State University Library, SDSU Library and Information Access
referencedIn New Directions Publishing Corp. records, ca. 1933-1997. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Burroughs, William S., 1914-1997. Memoir : of William S. Burroughs, [1956-1958] [manuscript]. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Harper, Allanah, 1904-1992. Allanah Harper Papers, 1931-1993. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Bowles, Paul, 1910-1999. Bluebell Mountain / [music by] Paul Bowles ; [words by] Jane Bowles. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Bowles, Jane Auer, 1917-1973. Jane Bowles Collection, 1944-1966. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Bowles, Paul, 1910-1999. Letters to Oliver Evans [manuscript], 1963-1972. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Bowles, Jane Auer, 1917-1973. Autograph letters signed (3) : New York, to Miriam Fligelman, [1937]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Jane Auer Bowles Collection TXRC99-A16., 1944-1966 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Bowles, Paul, 1910-1999. In the summer house / Paul Bowles. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Bowles, Jane Auer, 1917-1973. Papers of Jane Bowles, 1966-1967. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Isherwood, Christopher, 1904- . Collection, 1883-1971, (bulk 1932-1970). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Robert A. Wilson collection, 1906-2011 University of Delaware Library - Special Collections
referencedIn Tennessee Williams papers, 1932-1983. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Bowles, Paul, 1910- person
associatedWith Burden, Carter, person
associatedWith Burroughs, William S., 1914-1997. person
associatedWith Capote, Truman, 1924-1984 person
associatedWith Dillon, Millicent. person
associatedWith Fainlight, Ruth person
associatedWith Farrar, Straus & Giraux, corporateBody
associatedWith Fligelman, Miriam, person
associatedWith Harper, Allanah, 1904-1992 person
associatedWith Holman, Libby person
associatedWith Holman, Libby. person
associatedWith Isherwood, Christopher, 1904- person
associatedWith Karpf, Lila, person
correspondedWith Machiz, Herbert. person
associatedWith Mademoiselle, corporateBody
associatedWith New Directions Publishing Corp. corporateBody
associatedWith Sillitoe, Ruth Esther. person
associatedWith Smith, Oliver person
associatedWith Smith, Oliver. person
associatedWith Stoianoff, Ellen A., person
associatedWith Wanklyn, Christopher person
associatedWith Wanklyn, Christopher. person
associatedWith Williams, Tennessee, 1911-1983 person
associatedWith Wilson, Robert A. (Robert Alfred), 1922- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Morocco
Subject
American
Women authors--20th century
Americans--Morocco
Authors, American--20th century
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1917-02-22

Death 1973-05-04

Americans

English

Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w65x340g

Ark ID: w65x340g

SNAC ID: 53091428