The Black House

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First edition (publ. Heinemann)

The Black House (1981) is a collection of short stories by American author Patricia Highsmith.

Overview[edit]

An intense, macabre anthology focusing not only on murder, but also on more unusual crimes and misdemeanours that are beyond the reaches of prosecution. Told in Highsmith's typically impassive, lucid writing style, the work has been noted for its high degree of tension and, in some cases, surrealism.

Contents[edit]

  • "Something the Cat Dragged In"
  • "Not One of Us"
  • "The Terror of Basket-Weaving"
  • "Under a Dark Angel's Eye"
  • "I Despise Your Life"
  • "The Dream of the Emma C"
  • "Old Folks at Home"
  • "When in Rome"
  • "Blow It"
  • "The Kite"
  • "The Black House"

Reception[edit]

  • "Her short stories represent a relatively minor part of her achievement; but within their limits they are almost always compelling, as they are here." – The New York Times
  • "The Black House runs true to a beguilingly upsetting form." – Event
  • "Her stories are masterpieces of misanthropy and futility." – Irish Times