Nothing That Meets the Eye: The Uncollected Stories of Patricia Highsmith by Patricia Highsmith

Patricia Highsmith is best known as the author of the bestselling Tom Ripley series, which has inspired several movies.

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Nothing That Meets the Eye: The Uncollected Stories of Patricia Highsmith by Patricia Highsmith


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Book Description
Nothing That Meets the Eye confirms Patricia Highsmith as a great American writer.

If only Patricia Highsmith (1921-1995) had been alive to see the thunderous critical response to the publication of the best-selling The Selected Stories of Patricia Highsmith in 2001. Now the Highsmith renaissance continues with this brilliant collection of 28 short stories, a great majority of which have never been seen before. 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 Capra-like sweetness that forces us to see the author in a new light. From this new collection, a remarkable portrait of the American psyche at mid-century emerges, unforgettably distilled by the inimitable eye of Patricia Highsmith.

Reader Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful: Really high on Highsmith, October 27, 2002 Reviewer: JACK C. BROWN from HOUSTON, TX United States She's baaack! A second anthology of Patricia Highsmith's short fiction, this time featuring stories that have not been published until now. Unlike the first collection of her short fiction (where many of the stories struck me as mere character sketches) the contents of "Nothing That Meets the Eye" are all fully developed short stories. One of my favorites features the subtle yet obvious menace of a stranger with candy, a very, to paraphrase the story's title, "Nice Sort of Man." The one story that fails to impress in the collection is "The Born Failure." It features a downtrodden, Job-like little man who lurches from one disappointment to the next. The story ends in an oddly sappy upbeat "It's a Wonderful Life" way, as if Highsmith suddenly got bored with cataloguing this character's misfortunes and wanted him off her hands. Interestingly enough, she didn't kill off the Failure. Possibly because for such a loser death might have seemed a kindness. An added bonus is Paul Ingendaay's biographical essay, which follows the collected short stories. It gives a greater insight into Highsmith's literary process, touches on her lesbianism, and its probable influences on her body of work. (I'd always thought it odd that, in a wild divergence from her more mainstream suspense fiction, Highsmith had written the lesbian-themed novel, The Price of Salt, under the name of Claire Morgan.) Even more intriguing is the fact that Highsmith, apparently a meticulous literary craftsman, left behind a treasure trove of workbooks, notebooks, journals, as well as typescripts of drafts of published and unpublished works. Hopefully one day these literary artifacts will also find their way into print.

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