Topics

Donald Barthelme
Paperback Writers: Classic Patricia Highsmith
Paperback Writers: Classic Patricia Highsmith

Guilt was Patricia Highsmith's great theme. In her books even the good know they're not innocent, and they carry an apprehension that they too will be found out. "Night was falling quickly, with visible speed like a black sea creeping over the earth," reflects Robert Forester at the beginning of "The Cry of the Owl" (Grove: 272 pp., $14), one of her lesser-known works from 1963 and one of her most unsettling. Which is saying plenty. Forester is driving through the woods of Pennsylvania, about to do something he knows he shouldn't. He's an ordinary, decent guy and has a good job as an engineer with a firm called Langley Aeronautics. But he's...

Loading