The Price of Salt is a romance novel by Patricia Highsmith, first published under the . Highsmith recalled completing the book's outline in two hours that night, likely under the influence of chickenpox which she discovered she had only. Orders made between 23rd May & 3rd June will have a longer processing time due to our annual stock take. We appreciate your kind understanding on the. The Price of Salt, published in , is considered the first book—and the only one for a very long time afterwards—to depict a lesbian relationship with a happy .
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terrourocopa.ml: The Price of Salt, or Carol (): Patricia touted as " the novel of a love that society forbids," the book soon became a cult classic. The Price of Salt, or Carol by Patricia Highsmith, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide. But only "The Price of Salt," her most unusual novel, was inspired by a . Schenkar's latest book is Patricia Highsmith's authorized literary.
Therese, a teenage set designer with an unsatisfactory boyfriend, takes the same "Christmas rush" job in a grand Manhattan department store that Pat herself had taken in December , when Kathleen Senn, swathed in mink and slapping her gloves "absently" into the palm of one hand, sauntered up to Pat's counter to order a doll for her daughter.
Struck to the heart and vacillating between presenting this ravishing creature with a wedding bouquet or heading for her with a hunting knife , Pat naturally wanted to close her hands "tightly" around Senn's throat.
Therese, she said, came straight from her "own bones" while the image of Kathleen Senn dissolved into Pat's lost love Ginnie Catherwood to produce the novel's cool, controlling Carol Aird. But Pat feared the love-stroke that rescued her inner life — "How grateful I am … not to spoil my best thematic material by transposing it to a false male-female relationship," she wrote to remind herself — would sink her professional reputation.
Her terror at publishing a career-wrecking "lesbian novel" in midcentury America shook her to her shoes. She began to confuse living it up with writing it down. She forced her feelings and disordered her senses. She drunk-dialed sexual encounters by the dozens, then drank some more to forget them.
Her blackouts lasted for days. She couldn't stop writing "Salt," and she wouldn't face publishing it. She attacked her friends and lovers right where they loved.
Pat seduced the longtime female lover of Margot Johnson, her loyal literary agent; confessed the affair to Johnson havoc ensued , then slept with the formidable theatrical representative who modeled for a character in "The Tropic of Cancer" when she was Henry Miller's petite amie in Paris.
And one sunny afternoon in Switzerland, I opened a Highsmith diary at random and read Pat's sulphurous description of what my dignified, brilliant, long-dead play agent looked like in when she was young, naked and in flagrante in Highsmith's narrow bed.
Rolling into London in the scented spring of , Pat celebrated the English sale of "Strangers on a Train" by kissing her new publisher's wife and seducing the Irish girlfriend of her old Manhattan mentor.
By now, Pat had long been "in love" with her witty, withholding creation Carol Aird — whose marital situation, character traits, love affairs and physical features she was siphoning as directly as a blood donation from the life of Ginnie Catherwood.
Although Pat didn't use her private writings about Ginnie in "Salt," their beautiful urgency — as personal as her inked finger pressed on a page — swell the book's similes.
And that is how Patricia Highsmith, obsessively private and wedded to her art the only faithful marriage she made , opened her life to public judgment in the most harrowing way. Having successfully obscured her authorship she signed "Salt" with a mild-mannered pseudonym, Claire Morgan, dedicated it to three people whose names she invented, and sailed to Europe before publication , Pat didn't return to the scene of her "crime.
In , when "Salt" finally appeared in her name, Pat changed the title to "Carol. Judging by the fan letters she received, many of her eager and mildly misled readers saw "Salt" as a life-enhancing narrative of successful lesbian love: But what they were actually getting from this quintessential outsider artist was something even more interesting: A Letter to the World from Highsmith Country in which, for the length of one novel at least, all of Pat's terrors, talents and hostilities to love deliquesced into a paean to beauty, an ode to the outlawed, a hymn to ambivalence and the postscripted hope of an ecstatic and permanent union — "Carol, in a thousand cities," Therese calls it — without, for a single moment, denying the dangerous world in which that union would be taking place or the sometimes violent and always equal power-struggle between the two women lovers at its center.
It has characters who laugh, and who laugh without scorn or illusion Ripley, as well as numerous short stories. Rating details. Book ratings by Goodreads. Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews.
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Sign up now. It was also for years misfiled as a mystery, which it really is not. It's a coming of age story, a story about relationships and consequences, a story about a road trip, an eye opening and fairly frightening account of how lesbians were treated as recently as 60 years ago, but most of all it's a really great love story, about first love, the most difficult of all. I've read that Patricia Highsmith has been a particularly unpleasant person, particularly during her later years, which makes it so interesting how well and sympathetically she is able to describe the inner turmoils and thoughts and actions of her characters.
I'd say in this book her writing shows great humanity. Of course, I am now interested in reading her other works, though I am not even a mystery fan, just to experience more of that amazing writing. I can't recommend this book enough. How was it possible to be afraid and in love, Therese thought.
The two things did not go together. How was it possible to be afraid, when the two of them grew stronger together every day? And every night. Every night was different, and every morning. Together they possessed a miracle.
Some of you may remember back to my review of The Book of Lost and Found when i boldly declared "barring something truly amazing coming along later this year, I am happy to declare this exceptional read my book of t How was it possible to be afraid and in love, Therese thought.
Some of you may remember back to my review of The Book of Lost and Found when i boldly declared "barring something truly amazing coming along later this year, I am happy to declare this exceptional read my book of the year. First published in under the pseudonym Claire Morgan, Carol centers on two female characters who are both trying to escape from there past. Therese Belivet is a lonely young women in a relationship with a man she does not love.
She wants nothing more than to further her career as a theatre set designer, but for now is working in a department store. It will be during one of her shifts that her life will be transformed when a beautiful and sophisticated older women called Carol Aird comes to her counter. When Carol gives Therese her address to have her downloads delivered, Therese will send Carol a Christmas card that will be the start of their courtship. The two will begins to spend time together and when Carol asks if Therese would like to go with her on a road trip, their relationship will hit a magical crescendo.
Over the coming weeks it becomes clear to each other the feelings they have are both romantic and sexual.
Carol's husband Harge, who she is locked in divorce proceedings with tries to use emotional black mail to stop the two seeing each other. After being made aware of a letter found at Carol's house, written by Therese declaring her love for Carol, Harge threatens to stop her seeing their young daughter indefinitely unless she ends the relationship and comes back home to New York.
For Carol this is a heartbreaking decision to decide between the women she loves and her only child. Will there love survive? Carol raised her hand slowly and brushed her hair back, once on either side, and Therese smiled because the gesture was Carol, and it was Carol she loved and would always love. Oh in a different way now, because she was a different person, and it was like meeting Carol all over again, but it was still Carol and no one else.
It would be Carol, in a thousand cities, a thousand houses, in foreign lands where they would go together, in heavan and in hell. This book had all the ingredients for amazing read that I am happy to say when combined made for something truly special. The themes are plenty with forbidden love, drama a plenty, humor and perceptions of a by gone time.
The fact that the author needed to publish under a different name shows how much of a risk it was to write such a story.
I can only imagine what stir this would of caused in the 's. The ending for one was revolutionary as it provided something new instead of the depressing conclusions that was the norm with homosexual literature at the time. Both Therese and Carol are also boldly unconventional and the story is so much better for it.
If anyone is thinking about reading this wonderful story then I say to you "don't think, do" Ps, I cant wait to see the movie starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in January and hope it is faithful to the book.
I have read a lot of early queer pulp and normally I love them for their honesty and the raw emotion they present. Here there was none of that, everything just felt like it was being written about behind a veil.
There was none of the soul searching and the camaraderie that is found in other lesbian pulps. The writing style did nothing for me either, I felt it was very dry.
I almost felt like someone had described being in a queer relationship to Patricia and she decided to write about that based on her fantasies rather than personal experience. I think the biggest problem I had with this was that Carol and Therese was totally boring. Carol was a rich housewife who did nothing. Therese wanted to have a career but spent her entire time moping expecting her boyfriend's connections to find her work.
The two just seemed obsessed with money and shopping and having a very occasional cocktail. Even when they went on their "road trip" there was nothing interesting.
There was no sense of adventure or place anywhere they visited.
It was just a series of dull hotels. It made you wonder why they bothered to leave New York in the first place. There are so many better old lesbian novels out there. I really can't recommend this one at all. View all 16 comments. Let's get this out of the way first: I'm only reading this book because of Cate Blanchett, and not because it's an outstanding literary work of fiction, which it is. Sorry but I'm hopelessly stuck in the 'lowly' lesbian romance genre.
Blanchett in it. So, book first before movie. The book is from the point of view of Therese, a year old budding set designer who starts the book moonlighting as a department store saleslady. A chance meeting with a striking woman customer--over the proverbial 'exchange of looks'--sparks what appears to be an obsession for Therese. She is delighted when the interest seems mutual. But the mysterious, alluring Carol is married and has a child.
And how does she explain this sudden infatuation with a woman, when Therese has a boyfriend and male admirers in the wings and neither Carol nor Therese herself fit Therese's idea of a lesbian.
It's the s so one can just imagine Therese's confusion. The author's prose is incredibly powerful and evocative. From the first few Chapters where Therese feels trapped in her hopeless situation, to the confusion brought about by the tingling sensation of Carol's mere presence, to the exhilarating freedom of the road trip, her despair at Carol's domestic problems, to her growing maturity at the end Highsmith's powerful imagery.
She is a master at 'showing', never needing to 'tell' us how her characters are supposed to be feeling. Roonee Mara who plays Therese, has her work cut out for her. The Price of Salt comes across to me as a bit uneven. The best scenes are of course, every time Carol and Therese interact. They sizzle. Well, Carol does mostly. Since Therese behaved more like a love-struck puppy.
The rest of the time, I was just a tad bored and couldn't wait to get to their next encounter. This is due, no doubt, to my over-indulgence in genre romance. The rest of the book chronicles Therese's life away from Carol--her claustrophobic existence pre-Carol, her attempts to understand her sexuality in s style , and post-Carol development as she grows from eager-to-please, compliant admirer and finally comes into her own as Carol's equal.
View all 4 comments. Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness. I wanted to read this before watching the movie "Carol" , but I first found out about it from the fictional librarian in Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness.
From the marketing of this title I could not tell if it was more of a love story or a thriller, and knowing Patricia Highsmith I held my breath through the entire book waiting for someone to turn into a sociopath.
This novel is set in the early s, a time where not many women were openly involved in relationships with one another, leaving T I wanted to read this before watching the movie "Carol" , but I first found out about it from the fictional librarian in Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness. This novel is set in the early s, a time where not many women were openly involved in relationships with one another, leaving Therese without a framework and Carol with a choice - Therese or her daughter. Originally Highsmith published it under a pen name and did not own up to being the author of the book for at least twenty years.
In the s there were several lesbian pulp romance novels, but the accepted mode was that because of their "unacceptable" choices, someone had to end up with something tragic happening as "punishment. It really isn't, it's far more subtle, two women figuring out their relationship within the typical conflicts of previous relationships and ongoing commitments.
As romance goes, this was pretty realistic. Discussed even more on Episode of the Reading Envy podcast. View all 3 comments. No matter how dull or lackluster it seems today, one can only imagine how many feathers were ruffled - especially since many of these authors were explicitly told that in order to avoid censorship, the lesbian characters could not have a happy ending. Was this book banned?
But it's far more enjoyable to think about all the young and old women who read this book and felt validated. I wanted to read this book after watching Vox's amazing video, Why so many queer female characters die on TV.
The video delves into the whole " Bury Your Gays " trope, and was a response to Lexa's death on the popular TV show, The , and why it's so harmful. Therese designs cardboard sets and works in the toy section of a department store. She's dating a dilettante painter who's basically using his hobby as a way to run away from his daddy.
One day, a well-dressed and impressive woman named Carol downloads a doll from her counter, and Therese is moved to write her a personalized card, telling her what a pleasure it was to service her heh. This being the time period that it was, though, neither Carol's husband nor Therese's boyfriend are quite willing to let them go, and it isn't long before their romantic getaway is spoiled by a hired detective who tries to use proof of their illicit affair as leverage to block Carol from seeing her child.
I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. I know this author can write - I loved her Mr. Ripley series and its gleefully sociopathic antihero. This is a very different style of story-telling and I'm not sure it ages quite as well. The plot is slow and plodding, and Therese is a hard narrator to like. She's very whiny and self-centered, and a bit of a hypocrite, too. During one of her whine-sprees, she's complaining about how Richard, her boyfriend, feels entitled to her, because he was the first to sleep with her and naturally assumes that this means marriage.
Granted, this is annoying, classic Chad the Incel behavior, and it's disgusting - but then she kind of does the same thing with Carol, seeming to assume that she's the first woman Carol's been with and getting upset and jealous when she finds out that there's been others, even though it's clear that these relationships aren't ongoing anymore.
There are walk-in freezers that are more sensual than these two characters. Maybe that's a constraint of the times, maybe not. Jan 01, emily rated it it was amazing. Shit, I picked a great book to start the year off with. Honestly this will probably end up being one of my favorites of the year and of ever. Maybe I actually screwed myself over because I can only see my reading going downhill from here, honestly. I'm going to leave short blurbs here and then link to my full review on my blog once it's u Shit, I picked a great book to start the year off with.
I'm going to leave short blurbs here and then link to my full review on my blog once it's up and running. So my full review of Carol which has already been written will appear on my blog once my blog is an actual thing. So look out for that. All I'll say now is that this is probably one of my favorite book ever and I'm emotional and don't even know what to do with myself. Just please go read this beautiful story. This was my first Patricia Highsmith book, and I know it won't be my last.
Although Highsmith is more known for her suspense writing, Carol is a different style of book altogether. It is part love story, part road novel, and I thoroughly enjoyed the reading experience. It follows Therese, a young girl working in a department store during the Christmas rush, who one day is enamoured by a customer who comes into her department.
Carol is beautiful, in her 30s with a young daughter, and is 4. Carol is beautiful, in her 30s with a young daughter, and is currently going through a difficult divorce. The two women bond and as their relationship deepens, it has a major impact on all other people in their lives. This was a slow-paced book, but I felt like the pace was perfect for the story it told.
Each chapter felt sumptuous in its completeness, and always left me satisfied. I was really impressed by Highsmith's writing - there were many beautiful turns of phrase, and I felt like she portrayed a blossoming friendship and love in very believable terms.
The characters were fully fleshed out and interesting, and I enjoyed the focus on Therese. Although I found Therese's actions a little selfish at times, I could understand for the most part her reasoning and her frustration at her stilted life in those beginning moments. The road trip aspects of this book were unexpected, as I didn't know much about the book going into it, and felt like I was watching a movie in my head.
I am looking forward to watching the movie version, and seeing how it compares to the reading experience. However, if you've not read this book yet, I'd highly recommend picking it up. It is a lovely, captivating read, and a refreshing take on a lesbian relationship than most I have read before. I've been listening to the Price of Salt, a literary lesbian classic.
The writing is spare and emotions are masked.
Therese is innocence trapped within an old soul. She knows her heart and she recognizes in Carol all that has been missing from her life. Carol is worldly and not easy to like. All that sophistication yet she is drawn to a teenage store clerk and wannabe set designer.
They couldn't make an odder couple and yet. And yet. The scenes and dialogue between these too are so vibrant, so do I've been listening to the Price of Salt, a literary lesbian classic.
The scenes and dialogue between these too are so vibrant, so double edged that the rest of the world they are travelling through falls away. Secondary characters like Richard and Harge seem pale and lifeless. Therese's world without Carol is a cold and grey place. There were moments, especially in the first half of the novel when you feel like you are watching a rather dry play put on by some local actors.
Patience by the reader is rewarded with a technicolor ride and I suppose this contrast is what impressed me the most about this novel. Much like the Wizard of Oz, Therese and her life are transformed when she recognizes and accepts who she is and who she loves. The writing is gorgeous.
I had to stop listening to the novel and slow down and read the words on the page just to savour Highsmith's talent. She captures that incredible rush one feels when you fall in love for the first time.
View all 14 comments. As usual, I feel beneath those who classified this as classic. Once again I feel classic means no spirit, no passion, just a bunch of words to help the reader feel the pain of the author, or characters.
First, I don't believe in the main character who calls herself a New Yorker yet says very little. Not in my experience. And she says she's in love with the other woman but has never asked that As usual, I feel beneath those who classified this as classic.
And she says she's in love with the other woman but has never asked that woman anything. Second, I don't love the other woman, nor respect her. She give nothing of herself. And third, What is up with the caveman? Why does the silent NYer spend any time with this brute? Salt is rubbed into the readers eyes as they try to read this and feel any identification with the author.
There are billions of good books out there. I will go read one of them. OK, so romance books are not my genre of choice.
In fact they are my least favorite category of books. But this novel billed as a lesbian romance is neither and both at the same time.
It is the opposite of this which in my understanding is the standard of LGBT romance genre: It's more a novel about people growing up, learning to love, and choosing to live their life on their terms.
This is probably one of the more empowering novels I've read this year. And by the way, there is plenty of romance in the novel as well, but like other romance novels that I like the substance is far larger than that. What makes this book written in so special is that it is one of those books that stands up to the test of time.
Highsmith is very smart and writes beautifully, poignantly and presents views that prescient and avant garde. This book was ahead of its time with character outlooks and points of view that seem contemporary. This is the story is about two women, Therese and Carol, who meet by chance in a department store at Christmas time. She wants to know more about her. Therese does not identify as lesbian. In fact it doesn't seem to cross her mind. She is dating a young man Richard who thinks he is in love with her and she knows that she doesn't love him.
Highsmith goes into great detail about their relationship through their numerous encounters throughout the book. While reading this at first the extent of their back and forth seemed rather silly and vacuous. But they are completely necessary towards building an understanding of what's going on in Therese's mind. Therese is 19 and in things for her should for the most part be settled.
She is at the marrying age and Richard thinks they belong together. He knows there is something not right with the relationship, but she has slept with him so he thinks they are on the marriage path. Therese knows there is something wrong too, but just thinks Richard is not the one for her. Therese has other male friends that appeal to her and she sometimes tries to imagines herself with them, but she comes to the conclusion that none of them are for her.
Therese also has a strained, estranged, almost nonexistent relationship with her mother. She is captivated by Carol and sends a Christmas card to her along with her order from the store.
Carol intrigued by the act decides to thank her in person by taking her to dinner. A bit of a dance begins with Carol inviting Therese to come over for the weekends and to various lunches and drinks after work. Through these meetings we see Carol through the eyes of Therese.