The Black House
A Virago Modern Classic
By 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 backbone for Highsmith's chilling portraits.
'A border zone of the macabre, the disturbing, the not-quite accidental' New York Times Book Review
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.
Patricia Highsmith (1921-1995) was born in Fort Worth, Texas. Her first novel, Strangers on a Train, was made into a classic film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951. The Talented Mr Ripley, published in 1955, introduced the fascinating anti-hero Tom Ripley, and was made into an Oscar-winning film in 1999 by Anthony Minghella. Graham Greene called Patricia Highsmith 'the poet of apprehension', saying that she 'created a world of her own - a world claustrophobic and irrational which we enter each time with a sense of personal danger'. Patricia Highsmith died in Locarno, Switzerland, in February 1995. Her last novel, Small g: A Summer Idyll, was published posthumously, the same year.
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- Publication date:
06 Mar 2014
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