Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Price of Salt (by Patricia Highsmith)

I've never read any of the Ripley novels or anything else by Highsmith, but I was intrigued by this book when I saw it on a friend's bookshelf. It was published under a pseudonym because Highsmith didn't want to be pigeonholed as a "lesbian writer" and this is the story of the erotic awakening of a young girl when she meets an older, more worldly woman at the department store where she works.

Absolutely pitch-perfect, I thought. Has a vaguely ominous tone at times, but is ultimately not a suspense novel in the way that I imagine her other novels are. Definitely makes me want to read more Highsmith... like Shirley Jackson, I have a feeling she's one of those underappreciated writers, relegated to "genre" status when she doesn't deserve to be. Anything else I say will give away too much of the plot... but I recommend it.


Blogger Jana said...

I haven't read any Highsmith, but I have to say I agree with you about Jackson being underappreciated. I did a little work with some of her stuff when I was in a Gothic lit class, and she's really very interesting.

11:31 AM  
Blogger mo pie said...

I've only read "The Haunting of Hill House" and "We Have Always Lived in the Castle" but I loved them both. Any suggestions of what else to read? I wish she'd written more. Luckily Highsmith did!

12:04 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

The only other Jackson I've read is Life Among the Savages, which I really enjoyed. Imagine if Jen Fu wrote a mommyblog. In the fifties.

I have a collection of Highsmith's short stories. I agree that she is better than her genre.

3:18 PM  
Blogger Jana said...

Well, I was looking at the maternal in Gothuc litr, so what came up in most of the articles I read were Life among the Savages and Raising Demons, her books about parenting.

She also has tons of short stories out there, almost none of which I've read.

5:14 PM  
Blogger mo pie said...

Okay so clearly "Life Among The Savages"! Thanks, guys!

8:25 PM  

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