15 Apr 2007

Reading Patricia Highsmith

Am reading Found in the Street by Patricia Highsmith who is best know for the book that Hitchcock made into a film - Strangers on a Train and also Talented Mr. Ripley starring Matt Damon. She used to write crime novels and was popular in the 50s and 60s.

What I like about her is that she is one of the few writers who is able to describe evil thoughts that may reside in all of us. Thoughts that we push aside everyday. Mostly her characters are people who did not ignore these thoughts but did what they felt like. In all cases they broke the law and in most they died or were caught.( Ripley is an exception).
Another unsettling part of her novels is that evil lives with good; evil does not exist in the fringes. Even when the wrong doer is caught or killed you are left with a certain uneasiness.

Patricia H also wrote a lesbian novel Carol published under pseudonym initially since the publisher did not want to risk putting out such a book in the 1950s . Given her popularity they did not want to risk the sales of her regular novels. Try and get a hand on it. Its an uncompromising love story between two women who meet in ordinary circumstances.

No comments: