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‘My favourite book. I can’t think of a modern novel that seems more likely to become a classic’ TENNESSEE WILLIAMS
‘The book I give as a gift… It feels like giving someone an exotic fruit.’ SHEILA HETI
A modern legend … A very funny writer’ TRUMAN CAPOTE

‘I am going on a trip. Wait until I tell you about it. it’s terrible.’


Eccentric, impulsive New York heiress, Christina Goering meets the anxious but equally unpredictable Mrs Copperfield at a party. Two serious ladies, for whom nothing s natural and anything is possible, they follow their singular paths in search of salvation.

Mrs Copperfield visits Panama with her husband, whom she abandons for love of Pacifica, a local prostitute, and her brothel home. Miss Goering, for her part, seeks redemption by swapping her mansion for a squalid little house and relishing ever more extreme encounters with strangers. At the end, the two women meet again.

First published in 1943, TWO SERIOUS LADIES is a true one-off – daring and original, with deadpan humour and devastating insights.

Reviews

The book I give as a gift is the novel TWO SERIOUS LADIES by Jane Bowles. Her sentences are so surprising, the plot is like something from a dream, and her mind is deeply unfathomable, precise, funny, earnest and otherworldly. It feels like giving someone an exotic fruit.
Sheila Heti, author of MOTHERHOOD
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, and have all the delight, the literary satisfaction, the shock of classic originality, the revelation of such good writing, still to come.
Ali Smith
A modern legend ... A very funny writer ... with at [her] heart the subtlest comprehension of eccentricity and human apartness.
Truman Capote
My favourite book. I can't think of a modern novel that seems more likely to become a classic.
Tennessee Williams
One of the finest modern writers of fiction in any language.
John Ashberry
A landmark in 20th century American literature.
Alan Sillitoe
With TWO SERIOUS LADIES, Bowles joined the small company of women modernists who celebrated their freakishness in the highest style.
Lorna Sage
A thoroughly original mind - a mind at once profoundly witty, genuinely unusual in its apprehensions, and bracingly, humanely true.
Claire Messud