The Storyteller of Tangier – Mohammed Mrabet / Paul Bowles

1960s: Days of Rage


“Like many readers, I suspect, I first came across the name Mohammed Mrabet in relation to Paul Bowles. Throughout the sixties, seventies, and eighties, everyone from Life magazine to Rolling Stone sent writers and photographers to Tangier—where Bowles had been living since 1947—to interview the famous American expat, author of the cult classic The Sheltering Sky. … In fact, he kept open house for one and all, whether they be curious tourists, his famous friends—Tennessee Williams, William S. Burroughs, and Allen Ginsberg among them—or the crowd of Moroccan storytellers and artists he’d befriended over the years. And of these, one man in particular stands out: Mohammed Mrabet. Bowles and Mrabet met in the early sixties, and they remained close until Bowles’s death four decades later in 1999. Mrabet worked for Bowles in various capacities: as a driver, a cook, general handyman, and sometime traveling companion. But theirs was much…

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