Plain Pleasures



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WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY CHRIS POWER ‘Readers who’ve not yet read Jane Bowles are almost to be envied, like people who’ve still to read Austen or Mansfield or Woolf’ Ali Smith ‘The most important writer of prose fiction in modern American letters’ Tennessee Williams ‘A modern legend’ Truman Capote ‘Bowles is a master of the unforgettable phrase that no one else could have written’ William S. Burroughs ‘A dizzyingly original stylist’ New York Times “It’s the truth,” the women said from their mattress “Everything is nice”. Alva, a widow, states a preference for plain ordinary pleasures – only to get drunk and flirtatious, and pass out in a strange bed when she is asked out for the evening. Sadie, a spinster, goes to a holiday resort complete with pine groves, marshmallows and respectable clientele – to bring her nervous sister home, but instead comes to an eerie end herself. Mary, a little girl, spends her days in a clay pit leading an imaginary army of hard-muscled men. But hen a strange boy invades her headquarters, Mary abandons her soldiers to follow him home. Disturbing, unforgettable, totally unique – Jane Bowles’ short stories explore the hidden lives of women that only appear ordinary. A W&N Essential

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