The letters, dated January 3, 1985- July 24, 1985, consist of 5 to Jay McInerney, and 3 to his his wife, Merry. 4to, full page. double spaced, signed " Paul Bowles","Paul B." and finally "Paul", each with the mailing envelope.
The earliest letter responds to McInerney's request to interview him for Vanity Fair. Bowles remembers the magazine from the 20's and "can't imagine what it's like at present....I'd be pleased enough to see you if you abandoned the idea of a formal interview...and could be persuaded to base your piece on conversation. A prepared list of queries immediately introduces an element of unreality....". The follow-up letters "hope the Tangier experience wasn't too gruelling; it's been known to be for some..." , praises McInerney's book "BLBC" - "a pleasure to go from page to page", thanks him for sending Ransom - "When I finished it I had the impression that the entire book was a form of karate", discusses which photographs will be used in the Vanity Fair piece, & other business.
The 3 letters to Merry are more personal & indulgent. He discusses their divergence of opinion about time, compares Spinoza to Emerson, and then states that he is ignorant of philosophers in general. He comments on the pronunciation of her name - "in California people used to say "Merry's getting merried in Perris" and declares that BBC announcers often make boners in pronunciation, giving examples. He thanks her for putting him in touch with Tobias Wolff who has written favorably about him. "It makes one feel good to be overpraised now and then," and he hopes that she and Jay will make a return visit. Altogether a charming correspondence.