ISBN 9781928433088
Pages 158
Dimensions 198 x 129mm
Published 2020
Publisher Modjaji Books, South Africa
Format Paperback

In Tangier We Killed the Blue Parrot

by Barbara Adair

In Tangier We Killed the Blue Parrot is a novel set in Morocco in the 1940s and weaves a story around the well-known writers, Paul and Jane Bowles. Paul was a composer and author of The Sheltering Sky, and Jane was the author of Two Serious Ladies. This mesmerising novel draws the reader into the creative, erotic and exiled minds of Paul and Jane Bowles. Their struggles to write and their struggle to love, both each other and others, creates an unusually rich experience for the reader, and one which is hard to forget.

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‘A haunting tale, delicately told. Writerly narcissism, betrayal, moral confusion, love, lust and loss are the themes developed here in the context of the historical foray of Jane and Paul Bowles into Morocco. It … lingers in the mind through the quiet but compelling depictions of artistic grandiosity, hubris and despair set against a backdrop of power struggles in dysfunctional relationships and against the weft of politics and an economy of survival in a developing country. Yet it also leaves the reader with an overbearing sense of melancholy and sadness about the (unavoidable?) traps of desire and exoticism that any western writer confronting any “other” will encounter.’

Marlene van Niekerk

About the Author

Barbara Adair

Barbara Adair is an author and writer. In Tangier We Killed the Blue Parrot was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Fiction Award in 2004. Her novel End was shortlisted for Africa Regional Commonwealth Prize. She is a contributor to Queer Africa, both 1 and 2, and her writing, particularly her travel writing, has been widely published in literary magazines and anthologies. She works with the Wits Writing Centre at the University of the Witwatersrand.