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

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

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

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

The Brandons

Angela Thirkell
Authors:
Angela Thirkell

Lavinia Brandon is quite the loveliest widow in Barsetshire, blessed with beauty and grace, as well as two handsome grown-up children, Delia and Francis. So thinks their cousin Hilary Grant when he comes to stay and - like many before him - promptly falls for his fragrant hostess. Meanwhile, the Brandons' ill-tempered dowager aunt is stirring up controversy over her legacy, and Lavinia's attention is further occupied by the challenges of making a match between the vicar and gifted village helpmeet Miss Morris, and elegantly deterring her love-struck suitors. Angela Thirkell's 1930s comedy is bright, witty and winning.

Virago

Pomfret Towers

Angela Thirkell
Authors:
Angela Thirkell

Pomfret Towers, Barsetshire seat of the earls of Pomfret, was constructed, with great pomp and want of concern for creature comforts, in the once-fashionable style of Sir Gilbert Scott's St Pancras station. It makes a grand setting for a house party at which gamine Alice Barton and her brother Guy are honoured guests, mixing with the headstrong Rivers family, the tally-ho Wicklows and, most charming of all, Giles Foster, nephew and heir of the present Lord Pomfret. But whose hand will Mr Foster seek in marriage, and who will win Alice's tender heart? Angela Thirkell's classic 1930s comedy is lively, witty and deliciously diverting.

Virago

August Folly

Angela Thirkell
Authors:
Angela Thirkell

It's August in the Barsetshire village of Worsted, and Richard Tebben, just down from Oxford, is contemplating the gloomy prospect of a long summer in the parental home. But the numerous and impossibly glamorous Dean family - exquisite Rachel, her capable husband and six of their nine brilliant children - have come for the holidays, and their hostess Mrs Palmer plans to rope everyone into performing in her disastrous annual play. Surrounded by the irrepressible Deans, Richard and his sister Margaret cannot help but have their minds broadened, spirits raised and hearts smitten.

Virago

Young Entry

Molly Keane
Authors:
Molly Keane

Prudence, at nineteen, is reckless, laughing, wild; the despair of her elderly guardians. With her best friend, the subversive but very female Peter, she rackets round the Irish countryside among her beloved horses and dogs. But she feels betrayed by Peter's growing interest in the new Master of Hounds, 'Saxon' Major Anthony Countless. And what is Prudence to make of handsome Toby Sage, neighbour, huntsman and accredited flirt? Or of an inexplicable haunting? First published in 1928, this high-spirited novel with its subtle erotic undercurrents, is a glorious story of a ramshackle, tolerant society and of Prudence's turbulent coming of age.

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