Synopses & Reviews
Patricia Highsmith, author of such classics as The Talented Mr. Ripley
and Strangers on a Train
, was a writer who defied simple categorization. Gore Vidal called her: "One of the greatest modernist writers." The Cleveland Plain Dealer
rightly commented: "Patricia Highsmith is often called a mystery or crime writer, which is a bit like calling Picasso a draftsman."
To young novelist Marijane Meaker, however, Highsmith was more than a role model. Shortly after the two met in a New York City lesbian bar, they became lovers and embarked on a two year romance amidst the bohemian set of Greenwich Village and the literary crowd of Fire Island. There, the pair navigated the underground lesbian scene, lunched with literary stars like Janet Flanner, shared intimacies, and gossiped with abandon. Written with wit and brassy candor, Highsmith: A Romance of 1950s is a revealing look at the controversial icon of popular American fiction.
"[A] wonderful book. It's a marvelous portrait of a New York long past, and of gay life at a time when women wearing trousers were routinely denied admission to restaurants, and a fine personal story a romance in so many ways." Boston Globe
"Marijane Meaker is best known for young-adult novels, written as M. E. Kerr, but also for thrillers and steamy lesbian romances, and a confessional style animates Highsmith, her sincere account of their relationship..." Elise Harris, The New York Times Book Review
"A compressed and crisply written book...it's a picture of Highsmith in her brash youth, driven, insecure, charismatic, bewilderingly attached to repulsive prejudices as well as contradictory liberal ideas." The Los Angeles Times
"Highsmith is a startlingly honest look at two fascinating, creative women, the passion that brough them together, and the public prejudices and private obsessions that tore them apart." Bitch Magazine
"Marijane Meaker's Highsmith: A Romance of the 1950s is a romance plot wedded to a fascinating chronicle of life among the New York literati and the city's lesbian scene of the era, written in a sharp, novelistic style." The Toronto Globe and Mail
"[W]ritten with intelligence and attention to detail...a fascinating study of Highsmith..." Star-Telegram (Dallas-Fort Worth, TX)
A rare, revealing look at the life and loves of reclusive novelist Patricia Highsmith.
Patricia Highsmith, author of classics such as The Talented Mr. Ripley
and The Price of Salt
, was a lesbian who defied categorization during the postwar period. Her dynamic, often difficult life coupled with her sinister crime stories and upbeat lesbian pulp fiction challenged popular stereotypes about homosexuality as well as women writers.
To aspiring young novelist Marijane Meaker, however, Highsmith was more than a role model. During their two-year romance amidst the bohemian set of Greenwich Village and the literary crowd of the Hamptons, the pair navigated the underground lesbian bar scene, lunched with literary stars like Janet Flanner, shared intimacies, gossiped with abandon, and maintained a steady routine of writing and heavy drinking. Written with wit and brassy candor, this is a rare and revealing look at the life and loves of a controversial icon of popular American fiction.
The author of Shockproof Sydney Skate provides rare insights into the life of the reclusive lesbian writer and creator of The Talented Mr. Ripley, describing her own romance with Highsmith amidst the bohemian atmosphere of Greenwich Village during the 1950s. Original.
About the Author
Marijane Meaker is the author of more than forty books and recipient of many awards. Writing under the pen-name Vin Packer, she wrote the lesbian paperback bestseller Spring Fire. She is also the acclaimed young adult novelist M.E. Kerr. She lives in East Hampton, NY.