Centering on an unlikely romance between a young sales clerk and a lonely housewife, this lesbian cult classic is an engrossing tale of passion and self-discovery. Therese, a young sales clerk, and Carol, a housewife in the throes of a bitter divorce, meet by chance, but their instant connection is no accident. Fleeing the oppressive routines of their daily lives, they pursue their blossoming romance down the open highway in search of freedom and bliss. But their honeymoon is cut short when Carol is faced with the painful choice between caring for her child and being with her new love.Best known for her psychological thrillers, Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith published The Price of Salt under a pseudonym to avoid suffering from 1952's disparaging view of homosexuality. But Highsmith's complex and insightful treatment of lesbian characters continues to defy stereotypes about the LGBT community. A landmark in the history of American feminist and lesbian literature, The Price of Salt is a sensual, articulate, and engaging treatise on the importance of being true to one's self.
A chance encounter between two lonely women leads to a passionate romance in this lesbian cult classic. Therese, a struggling young sales clerk, and Carol, a homemaker in the midst of a bitter divorce, abandon their oppressive daily routines for the freedom of the open road, where their love can blossom. But their newly discovered bliss is shattered when Carol is forced to choose between her child and her lover. Author Patricia Highsmith is best known for her psychological thrillers Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley. Originally published in 1952 under a pseudonym, The Price of Salt was heralded as "the novel of a love society forbids." Highsmith's sensitive treatment of fully realized characters who defy stereotypes about homosexuality marks a departure from previous lesbian pulp fiction. Erotic, eloquent, and suspenseful, this story offers an honest look at the necessity of being true to one's nature. The book is also the basis of the acclaimed 2015 film Carol, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.
Author: Patricia Highsmith
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2001-08-17
"For eliciting the menace that lurks in familiar surroundings, there's no one like Patricia Highsmith." —Time The world of Patricia Highsmith has always been filled with ordinary people, all of whom are capable of very ordinary crimes. This theme was present from the beginning, when her debut, Strangers on a Train, galvanized the reading public. Here we encounter Guy Haines and Charles Anthony Bruno, passengers on the same train. But while Guy is a successful architect in the midst of a divorce, Bruno turns out to be a sadistic psychopath who manipulates Guy into swapping murders with him. "Some people are better off dead," Bruno remarks, "like your wife and my father, for instance." As Bruno carries out his twisted plan, Guy is trapped in Highsmith's perilous world, where, under the right circumstances, anybody is capable of murder. The inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1951 film, Strangers on a Train launched Highsmith on a prolific career of noir fiction, proving her a master at depicting the unsettling forces that tremble beneath the surface of everyday contemporary life.
Author: Patricia Highsmith
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2001-11-17
"Highsmith's novels are peerlessly disturbing...bad dreams that keep us thrashing for the rest of the night." —The New Yorker For two years, Walter Stackhouse has been a faithful and supportive husband to his wife, Clara. She is distant and neurotic, and Walter finds himself harboring gruesome fantasies about her demise. When Clara's dead body turns up at the bottom of a cliff in a manner uncannily resembling the recent death of a woman named Helen Kimmel who was murdered by her husband, Walter finds himself under intense scrutiny. He commits several blunders that claim his career and his reputation, cost him his friends, and eventually threaten his life. The Blunderer examines the dark obsessions that lie beneath the surface of seemingly ordinary people. With unerring psychological insight, Patricia Highsmith portrays characters who cross the precarious line separating fantasy from reality.
Author: Joan Schenkar
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 2010-01-18
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Patricia Highsmith's The Price of Salt is now a major motion picture (Carol) starring Cate Blanchett and Mia Wasikowska, directed by Todd Hayes Patricia Highsmith, one of the great writers of 20th Century American fiction, had a life as darkly compelling as that of her favorite "hero-criminal," talented Tom Ripley. In this revolutionary biography, Joan Schenkar paints a riveting portrait, from Highsmith's birth in Texas to Hitchcock's filming of her first novel, Strangers On a Train, to her long, strange, self-exile in Europe. We see her as a secret writer for the comics, a brilliant creator of disturbing fictions, and erotic predator with dozens of women (and a few good men) on her love list. The Talented Miss Highsmith is the first literary biography with access to Highsmith's whole story: her closest friends, her oeuvre, her archives. It's a compulsive page-turner unlike any other, a book worthy of Highsmith herself.
The Price of Salt (sometimes published under the title Carol) is a 1952 romance novel by Patricia Highsmith, written under the pseudonym Claire Morgan. The author – known as a suspense writer following the publication of her previous book, Strangers on a Train – became notorious due to the story's lesbian content and happy ending, the latter having been unprecedented in gay fiction. In an afterword written many years later as part of the re-release by Naiad Press, Highsmith recalled that the novel was inspired by a mysterious woman who came to shop at a store where she was working. That night she began work on the story. The next day she became sick with chickenpox, but worked through her illness, even claiming the fever helped her to write. Plot summary The novel's two main characters are Therese Belivet, a lonely young woman, and Carol Aird, an elegant stranger Therese encounters one day at her temporary job in a New York department store. Therese is just starting out her adult life in Manhattan and looking for her chance to break through into her dream job as a theater set designer. Therese was semi-abandoned as a small girl by her widowed mother, who sent Therese to an Episcopalian boarding school. She is dating a young man, Richard, whom she does not love and does not want to have sex with. On a long and monotonous day working in the toy department of the department store, Therese is struck by an elegant and beautiful woman in her early thirties, whom she serves. The woman, Carol, gives her address to Therese in order to have her purchases delivered. On an impulse, Therese sends Carol a Christmas card to her home address. Carol, who is going through a difficult separation and divorce and is herself quite lonely, unexpectedly responds, and the two begin to spend time together. Therese develops a strong attachment to Carol, but she is unsure how to understand her feelings. Therese's boyfriend accuses Therese of having a "schoolgirl crush" but Therese knows it is more than that: she is in love with Carol. Carol's husband, Harge, is suspicious of Carol's relationship with Therese, whom he meets briefly when Therese stays over at Carol's house. Carol had previously admitted to Harge that she had a short-lived homosexual relationship with her best friend, Abby. Harge is furious, and he takes the couple's daughter to live with him, pending the final divorce proceedings. To escape from the tension in New York, Carol and Therese take a road trip West, over the course of which it becomes clear that the feelings the women have for each other are romantic and sexual. They become physically as well as emotionally intimate and declare their love for each other. The women are unaware that Carol's husband has hired a private investigator to follow them and collect any evidence that would incriminate Carol as homosexual in the upcoming custody hearings. The investigator bugs the room in which Carol and Therese first have sex. Carol stops him on the road and demands that he hand over any evidence against her. The investigator sells Carol some tapes, at a high price, but then tells her that he has already sent several tapes and other evidence to Harge in New York. Carol knows that she will lose custody and most visitation rights to her daughter if she continues her relationship with Therese. Carol leaves Therese out West and heads back to New York to fight for her daughter. She tells Therese that she cannot continue their relationship. Therese is heartbroken, but her strength of character allows her to try to rebuild her life in New York. In New York, the evidence for Carol's homosexuality is so strong that her case for custody would stand no chance in court, and she capitulates to Harge in the end, submitting to an agreement which gives him full custody of their child and leaves Carol with rare supervised visits. However, the book's ending is unusually optimistic compared to those of lesbian pulp novels, as it suggests that Carol and Therese may stay together and be happy after all. Literary significance and criticism Because of the happy ending (or at least an ending with the possibility of happiness) that defied the lesbian pulp formula and because of the unconventional characters that defied stereotypes about homosexuality, The Price of Salt was popular among lesbians in the 1950s. The book fell out of print but was re-issued by Naiad Press and a number of other feminist and lesbian presses.
Author: Patricia Highsmith
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2011
Features key works in the psychological thriller genre from the author of The Talented Mr. Ripley, including Strangers on a Train which was made into a legendary Alfred Hitchcock film and The Price of Salt.
Author: Carol Anshaw
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2012-03-06
Carry the One begins in the hours following Carmen’s wedding reception, when a car filled with stoned, drunk, and sleepy guests accidentally hits and kills a girl on a dark country road. For the next twenty-five years, those involved, including Carmen and her brother and sister, craft their lives in response to this single tragic moment. As one character says, “When you add us up, you always have to carry the one.” Through friendships and love affairs; marriage and divorce; parenthood, holidays, and the modest calamities and triumphs of ordinary days, Carry the One shows how one life affects another and how those who thrive and those who self-destruct are closer to each other than we’d expect. As they seek redemption through addiction, social justice, and art, Anshaw’s characters reflect our deepest pain and longings, our joys, and our transcendent moments of understanding. This wise, wry, and erotically charged novel derives its power and appeal from the author’s exquisite use of language; her sympathy for her recognizable, very flawed characters; and her persuasive belief in the transforming forces of time and love.
Author: Andrew Wilson
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Release Date: 2008-12-07
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
The life of Patricia Highsmith was as secretive and unusual as that of many of the best-known characters who people her "peerlessly disturbing" thrillers and short stories. Yet even as her work has found new popularity in the last few years, the life of this famously elusive writer has remained a mystery. For Beautiful Shadow, the first biography of Highsmith, British journalist Andrew Wilson mined the vast archive of diaries, notebooks, and letters she left behind, astonishing in their candor and detail. He interviewed her closest friends and colleagues as well as some of her many lovers. But Wilson also traces Highsmith's literary roots in the work of Poe, noir, and existentialism, locating the influences that helped distinguish Highsmith's writing so startlingly from more ordinary thrillers. The result is both a serious critical biography and one that reveals much about a brilliant and contradictory woman, one who despite her acclaim and affairs always maintained her solitude.
“As erotic and powerful as the paintings that inspired it.”—Emma Donoghue, author of Room Paris, 1927. In the heady years before the crash, financiers drape their mistresses in Chanel, while expatriates flock to the avant-garde bookshop Shakespeare and Company. One day in July, a young American named Rafaela Fano gets into the car of a coolly dazzling stranger, the Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka. Struggling to halt a downward slide toward prostitution, Rafaela agrees to model for the artist, a dispossessed Saint Petersburg aristocrat with a murky past. The two become lovers, and Rafaela inspires Tamara's most iconic Jazz Age images, among them her most accomplished-and coveted-works of art. A season as the painter's muse teaches Rafaela some hard lessons: Tamara is a cocktail of raw hunger and glittering artifice. And all the while, their romantic idyll is threatened by history's darkening tide. Inspired by real events in de Lempicka's history, The Last Nude is a tour de force of historical imagination. Ellis Avery gives the reader a tantalizing window into a lost Paris, an age already vanishing as the inexorable forces of history close in on two tangled lives. Spellbinding and provocative, this is a novel about genius and craft, love and desire, regret and, most of all, hope that can transcend time and circumstance.
In a small Pennsylvania town, Robert Forrester is recuperating from a nasty divorce and a bout of psychological trouble. One evening, while driving home, he sees a pretty young woman framed by her bright kitchen window. Soon, he can’t keep himself away. But when Robert is inevitably discovered, obsession is turned on its head, and he finds himself unable to shake the young woman, nor entirely sure whether he should. From Patricia Highsmith, once called "the balladeer of stalking" by The New Yorker, The Cry of the Owl is a modern classic ready to be reborn.
From acclaimed novelist Jill Dawson comes this imaginative psychological thriller—a dark and compelling snapshot into the life of Patricia Highsmith that immerses readers into the intoxicating, nightmarish psyche of this brilliant, complex author. When novelist Patricia Highsmith moves into a small cottage in Suffolk, England, in the mid-1960s, she’s seeking seclusion and time to write. There’s another reason for seeking privacy too—Pat is involved in a secret romance with Sam, a married woman living in London. But even in this quaint village, Pat can’t escape the obligations of her success. A young reporter, Virginia “Ginny” Smythson-Balby, sets her sights on Pat for an article she’s writing. Ginny is both tenacious and oddly familiar, but Pat can’t quite place where she’s seen her before. Intent on unearthing details about Pat’s fascination with not just the subject of murder but the psychology of a murderer, Ginny constantly intrudes into the sanctuary Pat had hoped to create, much to her dismay. As Pat observes, love is a kind of madness. And when Sam comes for a visit, tension between Pat and Sam’s husband escalates with deadly results. For so long she’s wondered what it would feel like to commit the ultimate transgression. Now she’s not just a chronicler of murder and violence, but a participant as she becomes a character from her own thrilling, disturbing novels. But just like her books, she discovers crime has consequences…dark, surprising, and inescapable. Jill Dawson deftly explores the public and private life of one of the most intriguing writers of our time, blending fact and fiction in a novel as thrilling as Patricia Highsmith’s own work.
Author: Carol Graf
Publisher: Hillcrest Publishing Group
Release Date: 2016-11-08
Kai Ingersohn was motivated to become a psychiatrist after a childhood of dysfunction with her tempestuous and manic-depressive grandmother, Dumpling. Now divorced, in private practice, and raising two teenagers, she starts work with Stephanie, a young grad student with acute leukemia, who has returned to Charleston and its mystic healing waters and marsh to fight for her life. Stephanie braves the revelations of shocking family secrets, while Kai seeks peace with her own past as the therapy unfolds. Both women emerge with new capacities for love, life, and spiritual truths. This is a powerful work from a novelist whose story reflects her real-life experiences as a psychiatrist in Charleston. Set against a lush Lowcountry backdrop of Spanish moss, salt marshes, silent oaks, and the pounding sea, The Hours Between Us is an artful exploration of the heartbreaking struggles and unbreakable spirits of two extraordinary women.
The intimacy of a cabin at Lake Tahoe provides the combustible circumstances that bring Diana Holland and Lane Christianson together in this passionate novel of first discovery. Originally published by Naiad Press in 1983, Bella Books is proud to bring the bestselling romantic lesbian novel of all time back to print. With multiple printings and translations worldwide,Curious Wine is an enduring classic and on everyone's list of the very best in our literature.