THE PRICE OF DREAMS
Patricia Highsmith, the Novel of Her Life
by Margherita Giacobino
Translated by Christine Donougher.
Daedalus Limited. 329 pages, $17.99
THE PRICE OF DREAMS is a fictionalized autobiography of Patricia Highsmith, a translation from the Italian novel by Margherita Giacobino, structured with point-of-view changes in vignettes that move the narrative forward. The title is an allusion to Highsmith’s first novel, The Price of Salt (1952) which, in turn, was an allusion to the biblical story of Lot’s wife. The Price of Salt was one of the first overtly lesbian novels, and readers loved it because it had a happy ending, with the two women together and content at a time when such endings were rare. The book sold over four million copies in several editions. Highsmith used a pen name because she didn’t want to be known as a “lesbian writer.” One of her mysteries sold 131 million copies, and two of her novels were made into films: Strangers on a Train (1951), directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), directed by Anthony Minghella.
Martha Miller’s latest novel is Me Inside (Sapphire Books, 2020).