BookSeriesList
Virago

Small g: A Summer Idyll

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

At the 'small g', a Zurich bar known for its not exclusively gay clientele, the lives of a small community are played out one summer.Rickie Markwalder is a designer whose lover Petey was brutally murdered. Rickie and his performing dog Lulu are regulars at the bar, as are vindictive Renate, a seamstress, and her teenage apprentice Luisa. Into their lives comes Teddie, impressionable and beautiful, and a catalyst for the series of events that will change everything.Patricia Highsmith's final novel is an intricate exploration of love and sexuality, the depths of spite and the triumph of human kindness. It is a work that, in the tradition of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, shows us how bizarre and unpredictable love can be. Small g, in the words of her biographer Andrew Wilson, is an 'extended fairy tale suggesting that...happiness is precarious and...romance should be embraced.'

Virago

People Who Knock on the Door

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

In a pitiless story of prying suburban self-righteousness, Patricia Highsmith introduces the Alderman family as they descend into moral crisis. When small-town insurance salesman Richard Alderman becomes a born-again Christian, his once tight-knit family quickly begins to rip apart at the seams. He and his youngest son, Robbie, embrace their newfound faith, while his elder son Arthur rejects it. Caught in the middle of the ensuing web of lies, his wife, Lois, tries to keep the family together, but when the church elders start to interfere in Arthur's love life, events spiral toward violence. In this masterful late work, Highsmith weaves a powerful tale about blind faith and the peculiar ideas of justice that lie underneath the veneer of respectability.

Virago

The Glass Cell

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

Philip Carter has spent six years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. On his release his beautiful wife is waiting for him. He has never had any reason to doubt her. Nor their friend, Sullivan. Carter has never been suspicious, or violent. But prison can change a man.'The Glass Cell has lost little of its disturbing power . . . Highsmith was a genuine one-off, and her books will haunt you' Daily Telegraph

Virago

Little Tales of Misogyny

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

Little Tales of Misogyny is Highsmith's legendary, cultish short-story collection. With an eerie simplicity of style, Highsmith turns our next-door neighbours into sadistic psychopaths, lying in wait among white picket fences and manicured lawns. In these darkly satirical, often hilarious, sketches you'll meet seemingly familiar women with the power to destroy both themselves and the men around them. 'The No.1 Greatest Crime Writer' The Times

Virago

A Game for the Living

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

'Ramón had done it. Obviously! He thought about Ramón, his Catholic soul trapped in his passion for Lelia. He'd find Ramón and see that he paid with his life for what he had done.'Mild-mannered Theo is a wealthy German expatriate; hot-tempered Ramón was born into poverty in Mexico City. The two men are unlikely friends - especially as they are in love with the same woman. When Lelia is found brutally murdered, both lovers are suspects - and each suspects the other. But then they discover that a thief was seen at Lelia's apartment, and their hunt leads them on a frantic chase to sun-drenched Acapulco. Theo begins to get the uneasy feeling that his every move is being watched.

Virago

A Dog's Ransom

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

'Dear Sir, I suppose you are pretty pleased with yourself? Superior to everyone, you think. A fancy apartment and a snob dog. You are a disgusting little machine, nothing else. Your days are numbered.'Ed Reynolds, an editor at a prestigious publishing house, has received a number of anonymous poison pen letters. He has no idea who could bear him such a grudge. Returning home one night, he finds a ransom note for his wife's beloved French poodle: 'I have your dog Lisa. She is well and happy . . . I gather the dog is important to you? We'll see!' The criminal has hit the Manhattan couple where it hurts most. And so, with this bizarre event, their nightmare begins. A Dog's Ransom captures the fragility of middle-class life in this riveting, scathing tale.

Virago

Those Who Walk Away

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

The honeymoon is over; the bride dead by her own hand. Ray Garrett, the grieving husband, convinces the police in Rome of his innocence, but not his father-in-law, Ed Coleman, who shoots him at point-blank range and leaves him for dead. Ray survives and follows Coleman to Venice, where the two fall into an eerie game of cat-and-mouse - Coleman obsessed with vengeance and Ray determined to save his reputation, and himself. Each is at once the hunter and the hunted in a tense duel that, as each manages to walk away, draws them nearer to death.

Virago

Nothing that Meets the Eye

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

This volume of stories spans almost fifty years of Highsmith's career, allowing us to see how she evolved from a struggling freelance writer in New York to one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. 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 sweetness that forces us to see the author in a new light.These are suspenseful, playful, taut and psychologically gripping stories, evidence of an extraordinary talent.

Virago

The Animal Lover's Book of Beastly Murder

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

Nowhere is Patricia Highsmith's affinity for animals more apparent than in The Animal-Lover's Book of Beastly Murder, for here she transfers the murderous thoughts and rages most associated with humans onto the animals themselves. You will meet, for example, in 'In the Dead of Truffle Season', a truffle-hunting pig who tries to whet his own appetite for a while; or Jumbo in 'Chorus Girl's Absolutely Final Performance', a lonely, old circus elephant who decides she's had enough of show business and cruel trainers for one lifetime. In this satirical reprise of Kafka, cats, dogs, and breeding rodents are no longer ordinary beings in the happy home, but actually have the power to destroy the world in which we live.

Virago

Tales of Natural and Unnatural Catastrophes

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

Patricia Highsmith, an American who lived most of her life in Europe, was the author of such bestselling crime novels as Strangers on a Train, and The Talented Mr. Ripley. The stories collected here are classic Highsmith - eerie, prescient and chilling, catastrophes caused by human error and dark motives. Whether evoking the White House under siege by the homeless or a 190-year-old woman perpetually near death and dimly glowing, each tale refuses to release you from its tense grip.

Virago

The Black House

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

The Black House eerily evokes the warm familiarities of suburban life: the manicured lawns, the white picket fences, and the local pubs, each providing the setting for Highsmith's chilling portraits.Some neighbours are playing scrabble one evening when their cat drags into their house not a bird, or some other catch, but human fingers; a guest arrives at a dinner party where he is not welcome, and his hosts conspire to find and attack his Achilles heel; the crew of the Emma C rescue a beautiful girl floating unconscious in the sea and tension explodes between the men on board; a childless thirty-something couple decide to invite two elderly folk to live with them, but have they been too generous? In this collection of Patricia Highsmith's wonderfully unsettling short stories, people's motives are frequently twisted and no occurrence is without a sinister underlying meaning.

Virago

Mermaids on the Golf Course

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

The stories collected in Mermaids on the Golf Course, first published in 1985, are among Patricia Highsmith's most mature, psychologically penetrating works. Published in the latter part of her career, these stories reveal Highsmith's mastery of the short story form. Moving between locales as various as France, Mexico, Zurich, and New York, Highsmith transforms the mundane features of everyday life into an eerie backdrop for her penetrating stories of violence, secrecy, and madness. In 'The Stuff of Madness', Christopher Waggoner, increasingly dismayed by his wife's habit of preserving dead pets in their garden, enacts a devious revenge by adding a bizarre new exhibit to their collection; in the title story, a eminent economist's brush with death endows his once-familiar desires with tragic consequences; and in 'A Shot from Nowhere', a young painter who witnesses a gruesome death on a vacant Mexican Street becomes trapped in an unimaginable nightmare. In these piercing stories, Highsmith creates a world all the more frightening because we recognise it as our own.

Virago

Slowly, Slowly in the Wind

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

Slowly, Slowly in the Wind brilliantly assembles many of Patricia Highsmith's most nuanced and psychologically suspenseful works. Each of these twelve pieces, like all great short fiction, is a crystal-clear snapshot of lives both static and full of chaos. In 'The Pond' Highsmith explores the unforeseen calamities that can unalterably shatter a single woman's life, while 'The Network' finds sinister loneliness and joy in the mundane yet engrossing friendships of a small community of urban dwellers. In this enduring and disturbing collection, Highsmith evokes the gravity and horror of her characters' surroundings with evenhanded prose and a detailed imagination.

Virago

Eleven

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

Unsuspecting victims are devoured by their own obsessions in this perfectly chilling collection of short stories. A man becomes devoted to his pet snails, with fatal results. A young nanny turns arsonist in a bid to become heroine of the hour. A boy finally stands up to his mother, with knife in hand. Highsmith weaves a world claustrophobic in its intensity, disturbing in its mundanity, as she probes the dark corners of the human psyche. Eleven is a collection of masterpieces of Highsmith's particular art, full of compulsion, foreboding and cruel pleasures.

Virago

The Tremor of Forgery

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

Howard Ingham finds it strange that no one has written to him since he arrived in Tunisia - neither the film director that he is supposed to be meeting in Tunis, nor his lover in New York who is, he hopes, missing him. While he waits around at a beach resort, unable to progress on the film script he is there to write, he starts work on a new novel, about a man living an amoral double life. Howard also befriends a fellow American who has a taste for Scotch and a suspicious interest in the Soviet Union, and a Dane who appears to distrust Arabs intensely. When bad news finally arrives from home, Howard thinks he may as well stay and continue writing, despite the tremors in the air of violence, tensions and ambiguous morals.

Virago

Carol

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

Now a hugely acclaimed, six-times Oscar-nominated film by Todd Haynes, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.Therese is just an ordinary sales assistant working in a New York department store when an alluring woman in her thirties walks up to her counter. Standing there, Therese is wholly unprepared for the first shock of love. She is an awkward nineteen-year-old with a job she hates and a boyfriend she doesn't love; Carol is a sophisticated, bored suburban housewife in the throes of a divorce and a custody battle for her only daughter. As Therese becomes irresistibly drawn into Carol's world, she soon realises how much they both stand to lose . . .First published pseudonymously in 1952 as The Price of Salt, Carol is a hauntingly atmospheric love story set against the backdrop of fifties New York.

Virago

The Solitary Summer

Elizabeth von Arnim
Authors:
Elizabeth von Arnim

I want to be alone for a whole summer, and get to the very dregs of life. I want to be as idle as I can, so that my soul may have time to grow. Nobody shall be invited to stay with me, and if anyone calls they will be told that I am out, or away, or sick . . . Wouldn't a whole lovely summer, quite alone, be delightful?'This delightful companion to the famous Elizabeth and her German Garden is a witty, lyrical account of a rejuvenating, solitary summer filled with books and Elizabeth's reflections on her beloved garden. Descriptions of magnificent larkspurs and burning nasturtiums give way to those of cooling forest walks. Yet the months aren't as solitary as she'd planned: there's still her husband to pacify and the April, May and June babies to amuse.

Virago

Seventh Heaven

Alice Hoffman
Authors:
Alice Hoffman

In the summer of 1959 Nora Silk moves into a quiet suburb on Long Island with her two, young sons, a collection of Elvis records and a marked absence of husband. Her glamour and cheerfully chaotic ways immediately arouse the suspicions of the neighbourhood where life runs according to two rules - 'mind your own business and keep up your lawn'. Seventh Heaven is a lyrical, optimistic novel of yearning and desire, 'this writer can cut through to the true magic and true grit beneath' (Financial Times).

Virago

Up The Junction

Nell Dunn
Authors:
Nell Dunn

The girls - Rube, Lily and Sylvie - work at McCrindle's sweet factory during the week and on Saturday they go up the Junction in their clattering stilettos, think about new frocks on H.P., drink tea in the cafe, and talk about their boyfriends. In these uninhibited, spirited vignettes of young women's lives in the shabby parts of South London in the sixties, money is scarce and enjoyment to be grabbed while it can.

Virago

All Of Us There

Polly Devlin
Authors:
Polly Devlin

Polly Devlin grew up in County Tyrone, on the shores of Lough Neagh, in the fifties -- but it might as well have been another time and place altogether. In this memoir she describes in witty, spontaneous and idiosyncratic prose her life as one of seven siblings in a Catholic family in Northern Ireland.'A brooding, evocative study of Irish childhood, of the strong bonds of love and jealousy that sisters especially feel, the guilt-ridden pressures of religion, the magical countryside, the eccentric villagers. A hauntingly lovely work ... beautifully written with poetic intensity which seems to encapsulate the Irish character with all its wit and bitterness and gift for words' HOMES AND GARDENS