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Patricia Highsmith was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1921 but moved to New York when she was six. In her senior year she edited the college magazine, having decided to become a writer at the age of sixteen. Her first novel Strangers on a Train was made into a famous film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951. Patricia Highsmith died in Locarno, Switzerland in 1995. Her last novel Small g: A Summer Idyll was published posthumously just over a month later.
I hated Jude Law as Mr Ripley, not how I saw this wonderfully manipulative character at all, and not a good portrayal of one of the greatest crime novels of the 20th century. There is far more depth and complexity here than the film could ever give you.
'What is striking about these stories is their integrity: they are all of a piece . . . a brilliant collection' Sunday TimesUnsuspecting victims are devoured by their own obsessions in this perfectly chilling collection of short stories. A man becomes devoted to his pet snails, with fatal results. A young nanny turns arsonist in a bid to become heroine of the hour. A boy finally stands up to his mother, with knife in hand. Highsmith weaves a world claustrophobic in its intensity, disturbing in its mundanity, as she probes the dark corners of the human psyche. Eleven is a collection of masterpieces of Highsmith's particular art, full of compulsion, foreboding and cruel pleasures.
'Highsmith neatly dismantles the American suburban idyll, subverting the cliches of domestic bliss - nice neighbours, a child's comforting glass of milk, and the dream of growing radishes - with macabre cruelty' Andrew Wilson, author of, Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia HighsmithSlowly, Slowly in the Wind brilliantly assembles many of Patricia Highsmith's most nuanced and psychologically suspenseful works. Each of these twelve pieces, like all great short fiction, is a crystal-clear snapshot of lives both static and full of chaos. In 'The Pond' Highsmith explores the unforeseen calamities that can unalterably shatter a single woman's life, while 'The Network' finds sinister loneliness and joy in the mundane yet engrossing friendships of a small community of urban dwellers. In this enduring and disturbing collection, Highsmith evokes the gravity and horror of her characters' surroundings with evenhanded prose and a detailed imagination.
'One of the exhilarating effects of reading Highsmith's stories . . . is their surehandednes, their amazing breadth and abundance . . . they compel attention and they add significantly to her already formidable presence' Washington PostThe stories collected in Mermaids on the Golf Course, first published in 1985, are among Patricia Highsmith's most mature, psychologically penetrating works. Published in the latter part of her career, these stories reveal Highsmith's mastery of the short story form. Moving between locales as various as France, Mexico, Zurich, and New York, Highsmith transforms the mundane features of everyday life into an eerie backdrop for her penetrating stories of violence, secrecy, and madness. In 'The Stuff of Madness', Christopher Waggoner, increasingly dismayed by his wife's habit of preserving dead pets in their garden, enacts a devious revenge by adding a bizarre new exhibit to their collection; in the title story, a eminent economist's brush with death endows his once-familiar desires with tragic consequences; and in 'A Shot from Nowhere', a young painter who witnesses a gruesome death on a vacant Mexican Street becomes trapped in an unimaginable nightmare. In these piercing stories, Highsmith creates a world all the more frightening because we recognise it as our own.
'A border zone of the macabre, the disturbing, the not-quite accidental' New York Times Book ReviewThe Black House eerily evokes the warm familiarities of suburban life: the manicured lawns, the white picket fences, and the local pubs, each providing the setting for Highsmith's chilling portraits.Some neighbours are playing scrabble one evening when their cat drags into their house not a bird, or some other catch, but human fingers; a guest arrives at a dinner party where he is not welcome, and his hosts conspire to find and attack his Achilles heel; the crew of the Emma C rescue a beautiful girl floating unconscious in the sea and tension explodes between the men on board; a childless thirty-something couple decide to invite two elderly folk to live with them, but have they been too generous? In this collection of Patricia Highsmith's wonderfully unsettling short stories, people's motives are frequently twisted and no occurrence is without a sinister underlying meaning.
'These tales should not be glanced at by those with even the slightest history of poor mental health . . . Highsmith's dark humour oozes through this new collection like a particularly delicious poison' Andrew Wilson, Independent on SundayThis volume of stories spans almost fifty years of Highsmith's career, allowing us to see how she evolved from a struggling freelance writer in New York to one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. The stories assembled in Nothing That Meets the Eye, written between 1938 and 1982, are vintage Highsmith: a gigolo-like psychopath preys on unfulfilled career women; a lonely spinster's fragile hold on reality is tethered to the bottle; an estranged postal worker invents homicidal fantasies about his coworkers. While some stories anticipate the diabolical narratives of the Ripley novels, others possess a sweetness that forces us to see the author in a new light.These are suspenseful, playful, taut and psychologically gripping stories, evidence of an extraordinary talent.
'Highsmith writes the verbal equivalent of a drug - easy to consume, darkly euphoric, totally addictive . . . (She) belongs in the moody company of Dostoevsky or Angela Carter' Time OutNowhere is Patricia Highsmith's affinity for animals more apparent than in The Animal-Lover's Book of Beastly Murder, for here she transfers the murderous thoughts and rages most associated with humans onto the animals themselves. You will meet, for example, in 'In the Dead of Truffle Season', a truffle-hunting pig who tries to whet his own appetite for a while; or Jumbo in 'Chorus Girl's Absolutely Final Performance', a lonely, old circus elephant who decides she's had enough of show business and cruel trainers for one lifetime. In this satirical reprise of Kafka, cats, dogs, and breeding rodents are no longer ordinary beings in the happy home, but actually have the power to destroy the world in which we live.
'Master storyteller Highsmith offers an eerily up-to-date collection of modern horror tales' Publishers WeeklyPatricia Highsmith, an American who lived most of her life in Europe, was the author of such bestselling crime novels as Strangers on a Train, and The Talented Mr. Ripley. The stories collected here are classic Highsmith - eerie, prescient and chilling, catastrophes caused by human error and dark motives. Whether evoking the White House under siege by the homeless or a 190-year-old woman perpetually near death and dimly glowing, each tale refuses to release you from its tense grip.
This is the second novel in Highsmith's hugely influential, groundbreaking Ripley series.'The No.1 Greatest Crime Writer' The TimesTom Ripley is now the owner of a beautiful estate in France, a wealthy art collector and married to an heiress. The Buckmaster Gallery is staging an exhibition by the celebrated artist, Derwatt, but an American collector claims that the expensive masterpiece he bought three years ago is a fake. It is, of course and he wants to talk to Derwatt - but Derwatt, inconveniently, is dead.Ripley needs the perfect solution to keep his role in the fraud a secret and his reputation clean, but not everyone's nerves are as steady as his. Especially when it comes to murder.Ripley Under Ground is an ingenious novel of masks and identity, illusion and reality, and is followed by Ripley's Game, The Boy Who Followed Ripley and Ripley Under Water.
Ripley Under Water is a psychological thriller by Patricia Highsmith, the last in her series of five books known as the 'Ripliad'.'The No.1 Greatest Crime Writer' The TimesTom Ripley is quietly living in luxury at his chateau at Villeperce. He has a past, however, that would not bear too much close scrutiny. He is certain that he has covered his tracks where murder and forgery are concerned. But when a certain American couple move in next door, he soon realises his every move is being shadowed. Ripley fears his secrets may be discovered and he will stop at nothing to prevent that from happening . . .'The No.1 Greatest Crime Writer' The Times
This is the third novel in Highsmith's hugely influential, groundbreaking Ripley series, which began with The Talented Mr Ripley.Living on his French estate with his elegant heiress wife, Tom Ripley, on the cusp of middle age, is no longer the striving chancer of The Talented Mr. Ripley. Having accrued considerable wealth through a long career of crime, he tires of his idyllic retirement. Highsmith's chameleon longs to get back in the game, so when a friend needs a favour, he relishes the opportunity. Tom Ripley detests murder. Unless it is absolutely necessary. Wherever possible, he prefers someone else to do the dirty work. In this case, someone with no criminal record who can be manipulated to commit 'two simple murders' for a very generous fee.Ripley's Game is followed by The Boy Who Followed Ripley and Ripley Under Water'The No. 1 Greatest Crime Writer' The Times
The great revival of interest in Patricia Highsmith continues with this work that reveals the chilling reality behind the idyllic facade of American suburban life.In Deep Water, set in the small town of Little Wesley, Vic and Melinda Meller's loveless marriage is held together only by a precarious arrangement whereby in order to avoid the messiness of divorce, Melinda is allowed to take any number of lovers as long as she does not desert her family. Eventually, Vic tries to win her back by asserting himself through a tall tale of murderone that soon comes true.
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The remarkable renaissance of Patricia Highsmith continues with the publication of Patricia Highsmith: Selected Novels and Short Stories, featuring two groundbreaking novels as well as a trove of penetrating short stories. With a critical introduction by Joan Schenkar, situating Highsmith's classic works within her own tumultuous life, this book provides a useful guide to some of her most dazzlingly seductive writing. Strangers on a Train, transformed into a legendary film by Alfred Hitchcock, displays Highsmith's genius for psychological characterization and tortuous suspense, while The Price of Salt, with its lesbian lovers and a creepy PI, provides a thrilling and highly controversial depiction of "e;the love that dare not speak its name."e; Patricia Highsmith: Selected Novels and Short Stories firmly establishes Highsmith's centrality to American culture by presenting key works that went on to influence a half century of literature and film. Abandoned by the wider reading public in her lifetime, Highsmith finally gets the canonical recognition that is her due.
WITH A NEW FOREWORD BY VAL McDERMID Therese is just an ordinary sales assistant working in a New York department store when a beautiful, alluring woman in her thirties walks up to her counter. Standing there, Therese is wholly unprepared for the first shock of love. Therese is an awkward nineteen-year-old with a job she hates and a boyfriend she doesn't love; Carol is a sophisticated, bored suburban housewife in the throes of a divorce and a custody battle for her only daughter. As Therese becomes irresistibly drawn into Carol's world, she soon realizes how much they both stand to lose...First published pseudonymously in 1952 as The Price of Salt, Carol is a hauntingly atmospheric love story set against the backdrop of fifties' New York.
Tom Ripley is quietly living a life of luxury at his chateau at Villeperce, and, as ever, is keeping one step ahead of the law - he has, after all, a past that would not bear too much close scrutiny...The fifth novel featuring the protagonist Tom Ripley finds the sophisticated and amoral American expatriate being harassed by David Pritchard, a fellow American whose boorishness marks him as something of Ripley's alter-ego. Inexplicably familiar with all the incriminating details of Ripley's past, Pritchard is determined to expose him. He shadows Ripley's every move, first spying on him at home in France and then following him to Morocco. Tensions build on the return to Villeperce as Pritchard sets out to locate a body Ripley would prefer remain hidden in a nearby river.
First published in 2008, The Complete Ripley Novels, brilliantly designed in a handsome slipcase, sold out its initial run. This collector's item, featuring all five classic Ripley novels-The Talented Mr. Ripley, Ripley Under Ground, Ripley's Game, The Boy Who Followed Ripley, and Ripley Under Water-returns with a new printing on the twentieth anniversary of Patricia Highsmith's death in 1995. The Highsmith literary renaissance, initially sparked by a 1999 film adaptation of The Talented Mr. Ripley-which introduced fans and new readers alike to the unforgettable Tom Ripley, the debonair confidence man with a talent for self-invention and murder-continues in full force with three major Highsmith movies in the offing as well as the republication of this volume, the most sinister and strangely alluring quintet the crime fiction genre has ever produced (Entertainment Weekly).