Patricia Highsmith, author of classics such as The Talented Mr. Ripley and Strangers on a Train, was a lesbian and a writer who defied simple categorizations. Gore Vidal called her: "One of our greatest modernist writers." And The Cleveland Plain Dealer rightly commented: "Patricia Highsmith is often called a mystery or crime writer, which is a bit like calling Picasso a draftsman."
To young novelist Marijane Meaker, however, Highsmith was more than a role model. Shortly after the two met in a New York City lesbian bar, they became lovers and embarked on a two-year romance amidst the bohemian set of Greenwich Village and the literary crowd of Fire Island. There, the pair navigated the underground lesbian scene, lunched with literary stars like Janet Flanner, shared intimacies, and gossiped with abandon. Written with wit and brassy candor, Highsmith: A Romance of the 1950s is a revealing look at a controversial icon of popular American fiction.
"Meaker's memoir is a wonderful book. It's a marvelous portrait of a New York long past, and of gay life at a time when women wearing trousers were routinely denied admission to restaurants, and a fine personal story
Marijane Meaker is the author of more than forty books, many of which were written under the pennames Vin Packer and M.E. Kerr, such as the lesbian pulp sensation Spring Fire.