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In this eerily up-to-date collection, Highsmith's incisive prose chronicles a world gone slightly mad, its catastrophes precipitated by human folly and excess. From the White House under siege by the homeless to a 190-year-old woman perpetually near death and dimly glowing, each tale unfolds the illogical extremes of humanity in the late twentieth century. Highsmith transmogrifies the face of daily existence to lay bare its manifold dark motives. These stories leave us haunted with "afterimages that will tremble-but stay-in our minds" (The New Yorker).
"The stories are flush with satire, mischief and menace. Hers is a world consumed by self-destruction, driven by stupidity, greed and self-interest-a place where the human race cannibalizes its own. . . . [Her stories] unsettle the soul and dampen the palms."-Jill Pearlman, Harper's Bazaar
Patricia Highsmith (1921-1995), an American who lived most of her life in Europe, was the author of such classic suspense novels as Strangers on a Train (made into a film by Alfred Hitchcock, with a screenplay by Raymond Chandler), The Talented Mr. Ripley (awarded both the Grand Prix de Littrature Policire and the Edgar Allan Poe Scroll by the Mystery Writers of America), The Cry of the Owl, Found in the Street, Those Who Walk Away, The Two Faces of January (winner of the Crime Writers Association of Great Britain's first prize for best foreign novel), A Game for the Living, Edith's Diary, and seven collections of short stories, including Eleven and Tales of Natural and Unnatural Catastrophes.
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