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Selected Stories of Patricia Highsmith

ISBN-10: 0393327728
ISBN-13: 9780393327724
Edition: N/A
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Description: The Selected Stories of Patricia Highsmith presents five of Highsmith's classic short story collections in a single masterful volume. Compelling, twisted, and fiercely intelligent, this landmark collection showcases Highsmith's mastery of the short  More...

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Book details

List price: $17.95
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, Incorporated
Publication date: 12/17/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 736
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 1.606
Language: English

The Selected Stories of Patricia Highsmith presents five of Highsmith's classic short story collections in a single masterful volume. Compelling, twisted, and fiercely intelligent, this landmark collection showcases Highsmith's mastery of the short story form. In a cruel twist of irony, Texas-born Patricia Highsmith (1921-1995) is being recognized only after her death for her inestimable genius in her native land. With the savage humor of Waugh and the macabre sensibility of Poe, she brought a distinctly contemporary acuteness to her prolific body of noir fiction. Including over 60 short stories written throughout her career, collected together for the first time, The Selected Stories reveals the stunning versatility and terrifying power of Highsmith's work. These stories highlight the remarkable range of Highsmith's powers—her unique ability to quickly, almost imperceptibly, draw out the mystery and strangeness of her subject, which appears achingly ordinary to our naked eye. Whether writing about jaded wives or household pets, Highsmith continually upsets our expectations and presents a world frighteningly familiar to our own, where danger lurks around every turn. Stories from The Animal-Lovers Book of Beastly Murders portray, with incisive humor, the murderously competitive desires of our most trusted companions. In this viciously satirical reprise of Kafka, cats, dogs, and cockroaches are no longer necessary aspects of a happy home but actually have the power to destroy it. In the short sketches that make up the Little Tales of Misogyny, Highsmith rediscovers predictable female characters—"The Dancer," "The Female Novelist," "The Prude"—and, through scathing humor, invests them with uniquely destructive powers. As a writer, Highsmith was all too well aware of the stolid patriarchal conventions that ruled her day—her publisher rejected her second book out of handbecause of its homosexual content. She is not a polemicist, but, as stories like "Oona the Jolly Cave Woman" and "The Mobile Bed-Object" reveal, her bizarre, haunting fiction continually betrays the inadequacy of our conventional understanding of female character. Highsmith eventually moved away from these coolly satiric, darkly comic exercises, and in her later collections, The Black House, Slowly, Slowly in the Wind, and Mermaids on the Golf Course, she uses the warm familiarities of middle-class life—the manicured lawns, the cozy uptown apartments, the local pubs—as the backbone for her chilling portrayals. "The Black House," for instance, explores the small-town male camaraderie and the destructive secret it masks: in this world, the fact that everyone knows your name is more likely a curse than a blessing. In the title story of the final collection presented here, "Mermaids on a Golf-Course," a man's extraordinary brush with death endows his everyday desires with fantastically devastating consequences. In her later work, Highsmith adds a dimension of penetrating psychological insight, evoked most vividly in stories like "A Curious Suicide" and "The Stuff of Madness," where the precarious line between fantasy and reality is blurred and we experience the terrifying possibility of slipping between them. Great writers view the world askew, and in their art they reflect our world back to us, slightly distorted. The Selected Stories reveals Highsmith's deft and exacting style, her incisive satirical intelligence, and her faultless eye for depicting the inner tremblings of human character. Her world remains all the more frightening because we recognize it as our own.

Patricia Highsmith wrote twenty-one novels including "Strangers on a Train" & the "Ripley" series. She died in 1995 in Switzerland, where she resided much of her life.

Born in 1904, Graham Greene was the son of a headmaster and the fourth of six children. Preferring to stay home and read rather than endure the teasing at school that was a by-product of his father's occupation, Greene attempted suicide several times and eventually dropped out of school at the age of 15. His parents sent him to an analyst in London who recommended he try writing as therapy. He completed his first novel by the time he graduated from college in 1925. Greene wrote both entertainments and serious novels. Catholicism was a recurring theme in his work, notable examples being The Power and the Glory (1940) and The End of the Affair (1951). Popular suspense novels include: The Heart of the Matter, Our Man in Havana and The Quiet American. Greene was also a world traveler and he used his experiences as the basis for many books. One popular example, Journey Without Maps (1936), was based on a trip through the jungles of Liberia. Greene also wrote and adapted screenplays, including that of the 1949 film, The Third Man, which starred Orson Welles. He died in Vevey, Switzerland in 1991.

Foreword
The Animal-Lover's Book of Beastly Murder
Chorus Girl's Absolutely Final Performance
Djemal's Revenge
There I Was, Stuck with Bubsy
Ming's Biggest Prey
In the Dead of Truffle Season
The Bravest Rat in Venice
Engine Horse
The Day of Reckoning
Notes from a Respectable Cockroach
Eddie and the Monkey Robberies
Hamsters vs. Websters
Harry: A Ferret
Goat Ride
Little Tales of Misogyny
The Hand
Oona, the Jolly Cave Woman
The Coquette
The Female Novelist
The Dancer
The Invalid, or, the Bedridden
The Artist
The Middle-Class Housewife
The Fully Licensed Whore, or, the Wife
The Breeder
The Mobile Bed-Object
The Perfect Little Lady
The Silent Mother-in-Law
The Prude
The Victim
The Evangelist
The Perfectionist
Slowly, Slowly in the Wind
The Man Who Wrote Books in His Head
The Network
The Pond
Something You Have to Live With
Slowly, Slowly in the Wind
Those Awful Dawns
Woodrow Wilson's Necktie
One for the Islands
A Curious Suicide
The Baby Spoon
Broken Glass
Please Don't Shoot the Trees
The Black House
Something the Cat Dragged In
Not One of Us
The Terrors of Basket-Weaving
Under a Dark Angel's Eye
I Despise Your Life
The Dream of the Emma C
Old Folks at Home
When in Rome
Blow It
The Kite
The Black House
Mermaids on the Golf Course
Mermaids on the Golf Course
The Button
Where the Action Is
Chris's Last Party
A Clock Ticks at Christmas
A Shot from Nowhere
The Stuff of Madness
Not in This Life, Maybe the Next
I Am Not As Efficient As Other People
The Cruelest Month
The Romantic

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