Heat, by Shirley Hazzard

In which I cannot stop myself from outright stealing a post from The Elegant Variation. Forgive me, Mark.

The greater thing was heat.  In North Africa, the sun had been
neutral, an impartial horror of war.  Now, with cessation of
hostilities, heat came out in its true colours as the enemy.  The
privileged of the colony clung to the mountainside.  The rest took
refuge in any merciful shadow or flutter of the humid air.  The town
never cooled: streets and street stalls broiled all night in the glare
of naked electricity or paraffin lamps.  A dry skin was an ultimate
luxury, even for the privileged, even on a soft white body.  Lust, if
there was energy for it, must be consummated in a lather of sweat.  And
it was the same thing, no doubt, with love."

– Shirley Hazzard, The Great Fire

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