The Price of Salt, or Carol
"A great American writer…Highsmith's writing is wicked…it puts a spell on you." —Entertainment Weekly
Patricia Highsmith's story of romantic obsession may be one of the most important, but still largely unrecognized, novels of the twentieth century. First published in 1952 and touted as "the novel of a love that society forbids," the book soon became a cult classic.
Based on a true story plucked from Highsmith's own life, The Price of Salt (or Carol) tells the riveting drama of Therese Belivet, a stage designer trapped in a department-store day job, whose routine is forever shattered by a gorgeous epiphany—the appearance of Carol Aird, a customer who comes in to buy her daughter a Christmas toy. Therese begins to gravitate toward 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, ensnared by society's confines and the imminent disapproval of others, yet propelled by their infatuation. The Price of Salt is a brilliantly written story that may surprise Highsmith fans and will delight those discovering her work.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
We’re so glad that Todd Haynes’ gorgeous romantic drama Carol led us to revisit the groundbreaking book on which it’s based. First published in 1952 under a pseudonym due to its then-scandalous lesbian content, The Price of Salt was the second novel by Patricia Highsmith, author of The Talented Mr. Ripley. Despite focusing on love rather than murder, Highsmith’s prose is suffused with her merciless insights into the ugliness of human behavior. Still, she gives a hopeful conclusion to star-crossed lovers Therese Belivet and Carol Aird—inspiring generations of struggling LGBT readers to strive for happiness, no matter what hateful obstacles were placed in their paths.