The Collected Works of Jane Bowles
New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1966. 1st Edition. Octavo, publisher's buckram cloth, spine and upper board stamped in pink, top edge stained lavender, maroon endpapers, original dust jacket.
“You see, I have a different nature than he has. What makes me happy I seem to catch out of the sky with both hands; I only hold whatever it is that I love because that is all I can really see.” — from Two Serious Ladies. First edition of modernist writer and playwright Jane Bowles’s collected works with an introduction from Truman Capote. Although Bowles was privately prolific, she published very little in her lifetime, and this volume is comprised of all of her publically available work up to the year of its publication: her cult classic Two Serious Ladies, which follows two upper-class women vacationing in Panama and their oddball adventures; her singular play In a Summer House which ran on Broadway for two months in 1953, and her slender collection of short stories Plain Pleasures. In his introduction, Capote deems Bowles “one of the really original pure-stylists” and remarks if he held anything against her, it was her lamentably small body of work. Bowles is also known as the wife of fellow modernist legend Paul Bowles, whom she had an eccentric relationship with. Both were openly bisexual, essentially rivals within their literary community, and predominantly spent their lives apart from each other both geographically and romantically. Jane remarked that at first sight she considered Paul “an enemy” and that “Paul and I are so incompatible that we should be in a museum.” Dust jacket design by Ronald Clyne. Top stain faded with small stain. Unclipped dust jacket with light soiling to verso and trace of dampstaining along bottom edge of rear panel. Very good. Item #5827