Set in Morocco in the 1940s, In Tangier We Killed the Blue Parrot 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 their creative, erotic and exiled minds. 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.
“A haunting tale, delicately told. Adair has done an impressive amount of research to lay bare the underbelly of authorial fame. 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 is a reading experience that 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. Hard questions about the ethics of writing and authorship in any comparable situation clearly inform this narrative and lend a self-reflexive depth to all the voices that Adair so skillfully evokes for her purpose. 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