Tuesday, April 7, 2015

LITTLE TALES OF MISOGYNY by Patricia Highsmith


If Aesop was abused by a mean, alcoholic mother and then jilted and heartbroken by the true love of his life, I think he would have written this book of short tales rather than his famous fables. This is a collection of tiny stories written by famed psychological thriller writer and alleged cynic and misanthrope, Patricia Highsmith. Each story focuses on a different vixen that everyone loves to hate, including golddiggers, prudes, whores, perfectionists, mother-in-laws, and even an unlucky cave-woman.
She was simple-minded and never lost her temper. She had been clubbed over the head so many times, her brain was addled. It was not necessary to club Oona to have her, but that was the custom, and Oona barely troubled to dodge to protect herself.
And one of the best stories is the one about a man who is horrified to discover that his wife has transformed into an unstoppable baby-making machine! I got a kick out of this one, really because of the style of writing: tongue-in-cheek and detached, while at the same time sad, sarcastic, and satirical, as if the tragic outcomes for these women were somehow inevitable and entirely justified. I'd love to see a man write a companion collection about guys we all hate!

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