Gertrude Stein, Charles Henri Ford, Gavin Lambert, Claude Nathalie Thomas and Virginia Spencer Carr


Photographs of Paul Bowles' literary friends included on this page are the writer and poet Gertrude Stein, who advised the young Bowles to travel to Morocco in 1931. Bowles was a regular visitor to the artistic and literary salon of Stein and Toklas in Paris. Also here are photos of the poet,  editor and artist Charles Henri Ford, several photographs of the novelist and screenwriter Gavin Lambert, who lived in Tangier and West Hollywood, California and who was a close friend, Claude Nathalie Thomas, also a close friend and Bowles' preferred French translator of his works, and biographer Virginia Spencer Carr.


Gertrude Stein


American-born writer and poet Gertrude Stein moved to Paris in 1904 with her brother Leo, and they collected art works. In 1907, Stein met the writer Alice B. Toklas in Paris, and they lived together throughout the post-World War I period, entertaining major literary and artistic figures in their famous art-filled salon at 27, rue de Fleurus (a short walk from Les Jardins et Palais du Luxembourg on the Left Bank). Alice Toklas also was Stein's secretary and the cook. Among their circle of friends were the artists Pablo Picasso (and his wife Olga), Pavel Tchelitchev, Henri Matisse and Georges Braque, the composer Virgil Thomson, the photographers Cecil Beaton, Man Ray and George Platt Lynes, the writers Jean Cocteau, Djuna Barnes, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Bernard Fa� and Thornton Wilder, her couturier Pierre Balmain, and many others. In 1938 Gertrude and Alice moved to another apartment in Paris at 5, rue Christine.

The twenty-year-old Paul Bowles met Gertrude Stein in Paris in 1931, after corresponding with her. They became friends and she invited Bowles to her summer home in Belignin, in southern France. Stein nicknamed Bowles "Freddy", and she suggested that he was not really a poet. It was Gertrude Stein who advised Bowles to visit Tangier, Morocco—an exotic port city on the Mediterranean which had a mild climate. She and Alice had vacationed in Tangier on several occasions. Bowles took Miss Stein's advise, and he made his first visit to Tangier in August 1931 with his friend and music teacher Aaron Copland, composing music in a house they rented and furnished up on the Old Mountain.

Some of Gertrude Stein's literary works are Tender Buttons, Three Lives, A Novel of Thank You, The World Is Round, Portraits and Prayers and Four Saints in Three Acts, which Virgil Thomson made into an opera. Gertrude Stein was born on February 3, 1874 in Allegheny, Pennsylvania and died in Paris on July 27, 1946; Alice B. Toklas' works include What Is Remembered, Staying On Alone and The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook. Toklas was born in San Francisco, California on April 30, 1877 and died In Paris on March 7, 1967. Gertrude Stein is buried next to Alice B. Toklas at the P�re Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

Desultory Correspondence: An Interview with Paul Bowles on Gertrude Stein by Florian Vetsch




Charles Henri Ford


Poet, novelist, photographer, filmmaker and collage artist Charles Henri Ford, lived in Paris from 1930 to 1934, one of the inner circle of Gertrude Stein's salon. Ford, persuaded by Bowles to visit Tangier, arrived in the spring of 1933, and shortly after his friend Djuna Barnes arrived. Ford and Barnes shared Bowles' work studio on the Marshan. There, Paul Bowles worked on his Sonatina for Piano, while Barnes typed her novel Nightwood. Charles Henri Ford was the editor of blues and View magazines, which published some of Paul Bowles' early writings. Ford, who was born in Mississippi, lived for many years in The Dakota apartment building in New York, as did his sister, the model and actress Ruth Ford, who held court in her elegant art-filled apartment with numerous paintings by Pavel Tchelitchew. She entertained such luminaries as Leonard Bernstein, William Faulkner, Truman Capote, Edward Albee, Tennessee Williams and Andy Warhol. Once during a private screening of The Sheltering Sky, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was present. Upon the death of Charles Henri Ford in 2002, his elderly sister, Ruth Ford, inherited his apartment in the Dakota in New York. When she died in 2009 at the age of 98, she left her entire art collection and the two apartments in the famous building to her and her brother's longtime caretaker, Indra Tamang, who had been brought by Charles Henri Ford to New York in 1974 from a small village outside Kathmandu, Nepal.

(This 1934 photograph above is by Peter Rose-Pulham and copyright � by the Estate of Charles Henri Ford; reproduction without written permission is prohibited.)




Gavin Lambert

(July 23, 1924; July 17, 2005)


Gavin Lambert and Paul Bowles

GAVIN LAMBERT was born in Sussex, England on July 23, 1924 and was educated at  Cheltenham College and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he co-founded the short-lived but influential journal Sequence. From 1949 to 1955 he was the film critic and editor of the magazine Sight and Sound. In 1956 he wrote and directed an independently financed film, Another Sky, filmed entirely on location in Morocco. After seeing the film, Nicholas Ray (director of Rebel Without A Cause), invited him to become his personal assistant in Hollywood. Since that time, he lived much of his life there.

Gavin Lambert wrote seven novels, including the "Hollywood Quartet," Inside Daisy Clover, The Goodbye People and Running Time, and The Slide Area (a collection of short stories), all recently reprinted in paperback. Lambert's The Dangerous Edge: An Enquiry into the Lives of Nine Masters of Suspense (London: Barrie and Jenkins. 1975; New York: Viking Press, 1975) is a collection of essays and is dedicated to Paul Bowles. His non-fiction includes several biographies: On Cukor, Norma Shearer, Nazimova, Mainly About Lindsay Anderson (London: Faber, 2000), and most recently Natalie Wood: A Life (Knopf, 2004) and The Ivan Moffat File—Life Among the Beautiful and Damned in London, New York, Paris and Hollywood (Pantheon, 2004).  Among his screenplays are The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (from the Tennessee Williams novella), Inside Daisy Clover (from his own novel), and two that received Academy Award nominations, Sons and Lovers (from the D. H. Lawrence novel) and I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (from Joanne Greenberg's novel).

From 1974 to 1989, Lambert lived mainly in Tangier at Villa Tingitane, a move suggested by Paul Bowles, when they first met in Los Angeles. His friendship with Bowles, and his love of Morocco, made the experience doubly rewarding. Gavin Lambert died on July 17, 2005, at age 80, from pulmonary fibrosis in a Los Angeles hospital. Lambert had planned to return to Tangier for the month of June 2005 until his sudden illness prevented that trip. His ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of southern California.


Gavin Lambert and Kenneth Lisenbee


Gavin Lambert during his final visit to Tangier, Morocco in the summer of 2004.


Gavin Lambert with the photographer Cherie Nutting in Asilah, Morocco on August 2, 2004.


My Friend Paul Bowles by Gavin Lambert



Claude Nathalie Thomas


 Right: Claude Nathalie Thomas, Paul Bowles' preferred French translator and long-time friend, with Virginia Spencer Carr (at left), author of Paul Bowles: A Life (New York: Scribner, 2004; London: Peter Owen, 2005).

Paul Bowles and Claude Nathalie Thomas, Tangier, Morocco



A Translator's Experience by Claude Nathalie Thomas
Jane Bowles: Une Courte Biographie (Adaptation fran�aise: par Claude Nathalie Thomas)



Virginia Spencer Carr


Virginia Spencer Carr during two of her many visits to Tangier while writing her biography.

How I Came to Write Paul Bowles: A Life by Virginia Spencer Carr


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