Jane Bowles’s literary output, though small in quantity, has received accolades for its originality and experimentation. Her unique use of language and nontraditional narrative techniques has led to stories that are as unsettling in their form as they are in their content. Her characters are often drawn as both grotesque and comic, yet Bowles maintains a compassionate stance toward them—a technique that is usually absent in more experimental contemporary writing. The characters themselves can be seen as experimental: they are mostly women, either strong-willed and assertive or curiously passive, yet they behave in ways that surprise and shock the reader. Her works operate on a series of contrasts or opposing tensions; like Bowles herself, her fiction is an enigma and a delight, challenging the reader with its puzzling obscurity and its compelling humanity.