Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles. Won’t you read along with us?


Amongst all the titles listed in Severina by Rodrigo Rey Rosa, Two Serious Ladies is not one of them. And yet, in a discussion about Severina this July, Scott and I decided to read it. We thought, perhaps, it might have been included in with the authors Rey wrote about on Severina’s shelves. But even though it isn’t, we’ve decided to read it this January anyway, and perhaps you’ll be sufficiently enticed to join us.

It would fit with the Women’s Classic Literature Event. Since it was written in 1943 it would fit in with a classics challenge. And if you’re just plain interested in reading with Scott, of seraillon, as I am, this would be the perfect opportunity.

What is it about? Harper Collins says this:

Two Serious Ladies is the only novel by avant-garde literary star and wife of legendary writer Paul Bowles—a modernist cult-classic, mysterious, profound, anarchic, and funny, that follows two upper-class women as they descend into debauchery—updated with an introduction by Claire Messud, bestselling author of The Emperor’s Children and The Woman Upstairs.

Two serious ladies who want to live outside of themselves, Christina Goering and Frieda Copperfield embark on separate quests of salvation. Mrs. Copperfield visits Panama with her husband, where she finds solace among the women who live and work in its brothels. Miss Goering becomes involved with various men. At the end the two women meet again, each transformed by her experience.

We will take January to read this novel, and discuss it at the end of the month. Please do  join us. (So far, it’s me, Scott, Dorian and Frances. Hooray!)

15 thoughts on “Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles. Won’t you read along with us?”

  1. How lovely to be reminded of Severina, a wonderful find from last year’s Spanish Lit Month. Two Serious Ladies sounds very interesting, so I will follow your reviews with interest. Have fun. 🙂


    1. I could reread Severina, couldn’t you? Such a wonderful little novel! Glad you’re going to follow along with us. I know that you and Scott have amazingly astute thoughts about whatever it is that you read, and I would relish your input.


      1. Yes, I’m sure I will reread Severina one day. Apologies, but my previous comment may have been a little unclear. I’m not planning on joining the reread as I’m still trying to read the books I already own as opposed to acquiring new ones. That said, the book sounds great, so I’m looking forward to seeing your reviews and subsequent discussions. 🙂


    1. Isn’t it an odd little thing? Almost done, and thinking I’ll post on it in a few days. It wil be an interesting book to discuss; I can’t wait to hear what you think.


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