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Jane Bowles (1) [1917–1973]

This page covers the author of Two Serious Ladies.

For other authors named Jane Bowles, see the disambiguation page.

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Jane Bowles was born into an affluent Jewish family in New York City and grew up on Long Island. As a teenager, she developed tuberculosis of the knee, and was taken by her mother for treatment to a sanatorium in Leysin, Switzerland, where she attended school. She developed a passion for literature and on her return to New York, gravitated to the bohemians and artists in Greenwich Village in Manhattan. In 1938, she married Paul Bowles. Each had inherited some money, and they pooled their resources, allowing them to wander through South America, North Africa, Europe, and Asia while writing and composing music. In 1943, her novel Two Serious Ladies was published. They settled in Tangier, Morocco in 1948, where Jane wrote short stories and a play called In The Summer House, with music composed by her husband. It was performed on Broadway in 1953 to mixed reviews. Jane Bowles drank heavily and used drugs. She had a cerebral hemorrhage with serious loss of vision in 1957 at age 40. Despite various treatments in England and the USA, her mental and physical health declined over the next 16 years. She died at a psychiatric clinic in Málaga, Spain. Her collected works were published with an introduction by Truman Capote.

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