A chance encounter while holidaying in Central America leads an American couple, the Slades, to befriend the charming, handsome Grove Soto and his young Cuban mistress. But as the Slades' trip becomes prolonged and they grow increasingly dependent on their new acquaintances, an undercurrent of cruelty begins to disturb the comfort and niceties to which they are accustomed. Up Above the World shows Paul Bowles to be a master of the tension and horror of rising viciousness.
Born in New York in 1910, Paul Bowles is considered one of the most remarkable American authors of the twentieth century. He studied music with composer Aaron Copland before moving to Tangier, Morocco, with his wife, Jane. His first novel, The Sheltering Sky, was a bestseller in the 1950s and was made into a film by Bernardo Bertolucci in 1990. Bowles's prolific career included many musical compositions, novels, collections of short stories, and books of travel, poetry, and translations. His other novels are The Spider's Nest, Up Above The World and Let It Come Down. Ange Mlinko is the recipient of the Poetry Foundation's Randall Jarrell Award for Criticism in 2009. She is the author of three books of poetry, including Starred Wire, which was a winner of the National Poetry Series, and Shoulder Season (Coffee House Press, 2010). Her essays and poems appear in The London Review of Books, Poetry (Chicago), and The Nation, where she also writes an occasional column on language.