Thursday, February 15, 2007


I was skim-reading a biography of Paul Bowles the other day in Foyles.

He and his wife Jane were in Guatemala in the spring of 1938. They'd acquired an omniverous parrot that they'd named Budapple, which formed the subject for an essay that the author wrote in April during their stay in Antigua. Apparently Budupple ate his way out of his cage.

Jane Bowles narrowly avoided an unfortunate incident earlier in Guatemala City. Left by her husband with a group of friends in a cafe, she suggested that they pay a visit to a brothel as a lark. Unfortunately, once inside, she herself was asked by Jorge Ubico's senior bodyguard to join him in a private room. Forbearance wasn't this man's forte, but Jane Bowles somehow managed to talk her way out of the situation.

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