Paul Bowles letters to Frank Lauria

Biographical and Historical Notes

Paul Bowles (1910-1999)

The American composer and author Paul Frederic Bowles was born in New York City, on December 30, 1910.

In 1938, Paul Bowles married the aspiring writer Jane Auer. Inspired by his wife's success and her dedication to writing, Bowles began his own career as an author, eventually surpassing his already successful reputation as a composer. After the 1940s, he produced numerous works of fiction, essays, travel writing, poems, autobiographical pieces, and other works.


Miller, Jeffrey. Paul Bowles: A Descriptive Bibliography. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Black Sparrow Press, 1986.


Sawyer-Laucanno, Christopher. An Invisible Spectator: A Biography of Paul Bowles. New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1989.

Frank Lauria (1935-)

American author Frank (Jonathan) Lauria, who was born on October 26, 1935, in Brooklyn, New York, has been a free-lance writer since 1972.

Lauria, who has written several novels, and is best known for his Doctor Orient series, spent two years writing in Tangier, where he became a friend of Paul Bowles. Lauria also knew William Burroughs, who was a fan on his Doctor Orient novels.


"Frank (Jonathan) Lauria." Contemporary Authors Online. Gale Biography In Context. (accessed January 24, 2013).


DuShane, Tony. "Uncle Frank and the Co-Defendants," San Francisco Chronicle, November 17, 2011. (accessed January 24, 2013).

Content Description

American author Paul Bowles wrote to his friend and fellow writer Frank Lauria thanking him for recent mailings and sharing of his life in Morocco.

Paul Bowles wrote each of these three letters and the postcard in response to recent communications from Frank Lauria, particularly thanking him for sending issues of magazines and recordings of music. After mentioning the items he had received, Bowles would offer information about his life in Morocco and inquire after Lauria. Bowles commented on the effects of Moroccan holidays, such as Ramadan, and on his writing, including his recent translation of a story by Mrabet.

In these letters Bowles mentioned mutual acquaintances such as Cynthia Williams, William Burroughs and John Lurie. He also commented on the occasional confusion of his writing with that of Paul Darcy Boles. The letters suggest the obvious friendship which these men shared over decades.