Abdeslam Boulaich, Mohamed Choukri, Larbi Layachi (Driss ben Hamed Charhadi), Mohammed Mrabet, Ahmed Yacoubi, Patricia Highsmith, Christopher Isherwood, Don Bachardy, Claudio Bravo, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Jeffrey Miller


Paul Bowles translated stories and writings by five Moroccan writers shown in the photographs below. The most famous of these writers is Mohamed Choukri, as well as the storyteller and artist Mohammed Mrabet. Paul Bowles thought that Choukri was an excellent writer, and he closely collaborated with him on various translations of his works, including Choukri's first book, published in English as For Bread Alone. That book is a candid autobiography of Choukri's difficult early life. In French the title is Le Pain nu.

The Moroccan artist Ahmed Yacoubi was a constant companion and prot�g� of Bowles, who took him on trips to Europe, America, various countries in Africa, Ceylon, India, Turkey and Japan. There is a complete biography of Ahmed Yacoubi and his gallery exhibitions on this site. Though Bowles made translations of some of Yacoubi's writings, including a play, Ahmed Yacoubi is predominantly known for his abstract paintings, some of which are in various museums and private art collections. The brilliant English painter Francis Bacon, who lived and painted in Tangier beginning in 1955, taught Yacoubi oil painting techniques at his kasbah studio. (Throughout the 1960s and 70s Bacon periodically lived and painted in Tangier, where his friends included Paul Danquah, Peter Pollock and others. Bacon also painted in the top floor studio of Martin Soames' villa at the bottom of the the Mountain.)



Paul Bowles made translations of five Moroccan storytellers, writers and artists shown below:

Abdeslam Boulaich

Mohamed Choukri (Biography, obituary and selected bibliography of Choukri's literary works.)

Larbi Layachi (Driss ben Hamed Charhadi)

Driss ben Hamed Charhadi, also known as Larbi Layachi, was born in 1937 in the tiny village of Menarbiy�a,  fifty miles west of Bab Taza, in northern Morocco. In 1940 he moved to Tangier. In 1961 Paul Bowles met Layachi who was then working as a watchman at a Merkala Beach caf�, and later Bowles tape-recorded and translated A Life Full of Holes from the Maghrebi. In December 2008, HarperPerennial published a paperback edition of A Life Full of Holes (order this book from Amazon.com). In 1964, Layachi moved to the United States; he died in 1986 in California.

Mohammed Mrabet (Biography and works)

Ahmed Yacoubi (Biography of Ahmed Yacoubi and list of exhibitions of his paintings; see also Ahmed Yacoubi as Painter by Paul Bowles.)


Paul Bowles' translations of Moroccan and other authors.



Patricia Highsmith



Patricia Highsmith wrote 20 novels and seven collections of stories, which often dealt with psychological intrigue and murder. Her first novel, Strangers on a Train, written in 1950, became an immediate success and was made into a brilliant 1951 film by Alfred Hitchcock. In 1955 Highsmith wrote another novel, The Talented Mr. Ripley, considered one of the greatest crime novels of the twentieth century and which was filmed several times. Highsmith's favorite film version of The Talented Mr. Ripley was the 1960 French-language Plain Soleil, with the actor Alain Delon portraying her character Tom Ripley in the role of a handsome, young psychopath who charms his way into the lives of a young playboy and his girlfriend, and then impersonates his friend after murdering him. The English film version is called Purple Noon. The most recent remake of The Talented Mr. Ripley was released in 1999, with the leading roles by Matt Damon, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Patricia Highsmith visited Paul Bowles on a number of occasions, staying in Jane Bowles's former apartment in the Immeuble Itesa in Tangier.

Patricia Highsmith was born in Fort Worth, Texas on January 19, 1921. She graduated from Barnard College in New York with a degree in English in 1942 and where she also mastered Greek and Latin. Highsmith later studied at Columbia University, before making her first trip to Europe in 1949. She moved permanently to Europe in 1963, living and writing at various times in England, Italy and France, and in 1982 Highsmith settled in Tegna,  Switzerland, near Lucerne. She died in a hospital in Locarno on February 4, 1995, at the age of 74.




 Christopher Isherwood

The writer Christopher Isherwood first met Paul Bowles in Berlin in the early 1930s, and later visited Paul and Jane Bowles in Tangier in 1955. In late 1968 and early 1969, Paul Bowles was a frequent guest at the Santa Monica, California home of Christopher Isherwood and his longtime friend, the photographer and artist Don Bachardy.


Don Bachardy


One of Don Bachardy's 1968 drawings of Paul Bowles

The photographer and artist Don Bachardy painted a portrait and drew several sketches of Paul Bowles in California in 1968. (This image is Copyright � 1968 by Don Bachardy and is used with his permission. Reproduction and use is prohibited.)




 Claudio Bravo and Mario Vargas Llosa

The Chilean-born hyperrealist artist Claudio Bravo (in the center) entertained Paul Bowles and the distinguished Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa (right) at his Tangier estate, during the summer of 1996. Standing is the composer Phillip Ramey. Paul Bowles wrote an introduction to Claudio Bravo: Paintings and Drawings (Abbeville Press, 1997; Rizzoli, 2005), which illustrates many of Claudio Bravo's masterpieces. Another book on his paintings, Claudio Bravo and Morocco, with a preface by Brahim Alaoui and essays by Edward J. Sullivan, Tahar Ben Jelloun and Janis Gardner Cecil, was published in 2004 by Marlboro Galleries / Institut du Monde Arabe, in Paris. Claudio Bravo lived and painted in Tangier, Morocco since 1972, and also at his farm outside Taroudant, where he died on June 4, 2011, at the age of 74. View a small portion of a new documentary film entitled "Claudio Bravo in Morocco" by Philippe Aubert.

After Mario Vargas Llosa ran an unsuccessful 1990 campaign for the presidency of Per�, he moved to England, where he lives in London with his wife Patricia. Mario Vargas Llosa won the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature. Vargas Llosa has written more than 30 works of non-fiction, plays and novels, including The Feast of the Goat and The War of the End of the World. Read a biography of Mario Vargas Llosa (in Spanish) on Mario Vargas Llosa's official Web site: www.mvargasllosa.com. (Photograph Copyright � 1996 by Kenneth Lisenbee)



Claudio Bravo's estate on the Old Mountain in Tangier



Claudio Bravo's Portrait of Paul Bowles

The original portrait of Paul Bowles by Claudio Bravo is on display in the entrance hall at The American School of Tangier and an exact  copy is in the Paul Bowles Wing in the Tangier American Legation in the medina.

This image is Copyright � by Claudio Bravo, and use and reproduction is prohibited.




Jeffrey Miller

Jeffrey Miller and Paul Bowles in Tangier

Jeffrey Miller is the founder and director of Cadmus Editions Publishers and the editor of In Touch: The Letters of Paul Bowles and Paul Bowles: A Descriptive Bibliography.



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