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Highsmith: A Romance of the 1950's

Narrated by: Rosemary Benson
Length: 5 hrs and 58 mins
4 out of 5 stars (19 ratings)
Regular price: $19.95
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Publisher's Summary

Patricia Highsmith, author of classics such as The Talented Mr. Ripley and Strangers on a Train, was a lesbian and a writer who defied simple categorization. Gore Vidal called her: "One of our greatest modernist writers." And 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."

Meaker and Highsmith met in New York City, became lovers, and embarked on a romance amidst the bohemian set of Greenwich Village and the literary crowd of Fire Island. Written with wit and brassy candor, this is a revealing look at a controversial icon of popular American fiction.

Marijane Meaker is the author of more than 40 books and recipient of many awards; writing under the pen-name Vin Packer, she wrote the lesbian paperback best-seller Spring Fire (Cleis Press).

©2003 Cleis Press (P)2012 Cleis Press

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  • Kathleen
  • Minneapolis, MN, USA
  • 08-27-12

Fascinating book about a mysterious author.

This is Meaker’s account of her romance and then ongoing friendship with Patricia Highsmith, famous for “A Stranger on a Train” among other books. She wrote what was considered the first modern positive lesbian novel under the name Claire Morgan. Her books were very strange, and she herself, by the accounts in this book, could be extremely unpleasant harping on her anti-semite beliefs and with prejudices against people of color. If the time had been now, she would have harped probably on political correctness. Given that she wasn’t a very good friend to Meaker, the author did an excellent job of presenting a rank and unbiased look at Patricia Highsmith. Meaker wrote many lesbian pulp fiction novels under various names, one of the more famous being “Spring Fire” under the name Vin Packer.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • P.
  • 02-17-19

Disturbing yet fascinating

A singular perspective on the life of a flawed but brilliant writer. I found the description of Lesbian life in the 50’s and 60’s to ring true. Those of us celebrating contemporary gay life might do well to reflect on the “old” proscriptions and secrecy of a guarded and dangerous life. These were the days of rampant butch, femme, and Kiki personae. We should be well advised in the days ahead.

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    5 out of 5 stars

An interesting look at 2 great writers

As a lover of the move Carol, I craved an intimate view of the author of the book it was based on. This story did not disappoint. The narrator truly satisfied audibly -- brought a love affair to life wonderfully.