In Tangier we killed the blue parrot

Barbara Adair

IN TANGIER WE KILLED THE BLUE PARROT is a novel set in Morocco in the 1940s and 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.

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In Tangier we killed the blue parrot

Modjaji Books is pleased to re-release IN TANGIER WE KILLED THE BLUE PARROT that was published by Jacana in 2005. The book was short listed for the Sunday Times Fiction award in 2005.

This mesmerising novel draws the reader into the creative, erotic and exiled minds of Paul and Jane Bowles. 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.

Barbara Adair

Barbara Adair is a writer with published experience in the following areas: fiction, both novels and short stories, travel articles, book reviews.

She writes, and also works part time at the University of the Witwatersrand Writing Centre and in Nairobi, Kenya, consulting and assisting students in critical thinking.

She previously practised as an attorney litigating on human rights issues, and thereafter taught constitutional law at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Barbara is currently registered as a PhD student at the University of Pretoria.

Barbara Adair's author page
Awards and Nominations
Shortlisted for the Sunday Times Fiction Award 2004

‘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