Patricia Highsmith’s story of sexual obsession may be one of the most important, but still largely unrecognized, novels of the twentieth century.
ABOUT THE PRICE OF SALT (1952)
Patricia Highsmith’s story of sexual obsession may be one of the most important, but still largely unrecognized, novels of the twentieth century. First published in 1952 under the pseudonym Claire Morgan and touted as “the novel of a love society forbids,” the book soon became a lesbian cult classic. Yet it was always relegated to a mystery subgenre and never before given the literary recognition that it is now receiving. Based on a true story plucked from Highsmith’s own life, The Price of Salt tells the riveting story of Therese Belivet, a stage designer trapped in a department store day job, whose routine is forever shattered by an erotic epiphany—the appearance of Carol Aird, a customer who comes in to buy her daughter a Christmas toy. Therese begins to stalk the alluring suburban housewife, who is trapped in a marriage as stultifying as Therese’s job. They fall in love and set out across the United States, pursued by a private investigator who eventually blackmails Carol into a choice between her daughter and her lover.
THE FIRST SENTENCE
“The lunch hour in the co-workers’ cafeteria at Frankenberg’s had reached its peak.” Keep reading The Price of Salt.
Cate Blanchett and Mia Wasikowska have signed on to star in an adaptation of The Price of Salt to be directed by John Crowley. (Variety, May 2012)
Pulp Valentine: Patricia Highsmith’s erotic lesbian thriller
Terry Castle, Slate, May 2006
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