Nothing That Meets the Eye: The Uncollected Stories of Patricia Highsmith

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9780393051872: Nothing That Meets the Eye: The Uncollected Stories of Patricia Highsmith
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"Highsmith is no more a practitioner of the murder mystery genre...than are Doestoevsky, Faulkner and Camus."―Joan Smith, Los Angeles Times

The Patricia Highsmith renaissance continues with Nothing That Meets the Eye, a brilliant collection of twenty-eight psychologically penetrating stories, a great majority of which are published for the first time in this collection. This volume spans almost fifty years of Highsmith's career and establishes her as a permanent member of our American literary canon, as attested by recent publication of two of these stories in The New Yorker and Harper's. 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 Capra-like sweetness that forces us to see the author in a new light. From this new collection, a remarkable portrait of the American psyche at mid-century emerges, unforgettably distilled by the inimitable eye of Patricia Highsmith.

A New York Times Notable Book and a Washington Post Rave of 2002. "Almost every piece...contains touches that reveal what a subtle writer Highsmith was."―James Campbell, New York Times "A thrilling compendium of work full of surprises."―Ed Siegel, Boston Globe "One of the exhilarating effects of reading Highsmith's stories...is the greatly enlarged sense of her range and energy...in their surehandedness, their amazing breadth and abundance...[these stories] compel attention and they add significantly to her already formidable presence."―James Lasdun, Washington Post

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About the Author:

Patricia Highsmith (1921–1995) was the author of more than twenty novels, including Strangers on a Train, The Price of Salt, The Blunderer and The Talented Mr. Ripley, as well as numerous short stories.

From Booklist:

*Starred Review* Most of the stories in this collection, written between 1938 and 1982, are almost sentimental in their brutal unsentimentality. With a hard, keen eye, Highsmith crafts beautifully warped creatures and dares us to step inside their minds. Most of the characters are misfits, some desperate to change their lives, others with no idea how to start. Even when nothing dreadful happens, as in the early "Where the Door Is Always Open and the Welcome Mat Is Out"--in which a Midwest transplant attempts to justify her busy-empty Manhattan life to a visiting relative (and to herself)--the stories nonetheless inspire a delicious sense of dread. And when terrible things do occur, they hit the reader between the eyes like a stockyard hammer: in "The Mightiest Morning," a man is driven from a town after innocently spending his days with a young girl who befriends him; in "The Car," another man is welcomed by a mother who fails to recognize his bad intentions toward her little daughter. Highsmith never asks us to sympathize with her evil characters, but she does show--through the petty, mean-spirited, thoughtless actions of others--that much of their hatred for society is justified. It's perhaps her most frightening, depressing motif. Frank Sennett
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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ISBN 10:  0393325008 ISBN 13:  9780393325003
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