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Small g: A Summer Idyll

A Virago Modern Classic
  • Author
    • Patricia Highsmith
Regular price £9.99
Regular price Sale price £9.99

Completed just months before Patricia Highsmith's death in 1995, Small g explores the labyrinthine intricacies of passion, sexuality, and jealousy in a charming tale of love misdirected.

'It has a serenity rarely found in Highsmith's world' GEOFFREY ELBORN, GUARDIAN

'What is most remarkable in this novel is the empathy . . . with which Highsmith writes about gay men' FRANCIS KING, SPECTATOR

'Like Ripley, [Highsmith's characters] burn in a reader's memory' L

At the 'small g', a Zurich bar known for its not exclusively gay clientele, the lives of a small community are played out one summer.

Rickie Markwalder is a designer whose lover Petey was brutally murdered. Rickie and his performing dog Lulu are regulars at the bar, as are vindictive Renate, a seamstress, and her teenage apprentice Luisa. Into their lives comes Teddie, impressionable and beautiful, and a catalyst for the series of events that will change everything.

Patricia Highsmith's final novel is an intricate exploration of love and sexuality, the depths of spite and the triumph of human kindness. It is a work that, in the tradition of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, shows us how bizarre and unpredictable love can be. Small g, in the words of her biographer Andrew Wilson, is an 'extended fairy tale suggesting that . . . happiness is precarious and . . . romance should be embraced'.

Not available for shipping to the following countries:

  • ASM
  • CAN
  • GUM
  • MNP
  • UMI
  • FSM
  • MHL
  • PHL
  • PRI
  • USA
  • VIR
  • Published: Jan 21 2016
  • Pages: 352
  • 134 x 200mm
  • ISBN: 9780349004990
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Press Reviews

  • Geoffrey Elborn

    From the first page it is recognizably authentic Highsmith. Perhaps approaching her lesbian novel Carol in tenderness and theme, it has a serenity rarely found in Highsmith's world
  • Philip Hensher

    Mail on Sunday
    Years of producing tight, energetic thrillers has honed down Highsmith's style, and in this book, with its child-like simplicity, is quite wonderfully readable
  • Francis King

    What is most remarkable in this novel is the empathy . . . with which Highsmith writes about gay men . . . one can imagine the Small g existing, a piquant mixture of bohemianism and respectability, exactly as Highsmith describes it
  • Daily Telegraph
    The novel is a delight . . . all the more so for its untypically sunny atmosphere
  • Los Angeles Times Book Review
    Like Ripley, [Highsmith's characters] burn in a reader's memory
  • New York Times Book Review
    Its superabundance of characters is only one of the elements that give Small g its air of Shakespearean complexity
  • Louise Welsh

    Small g is a welcome addition to Highsmith's published novels, offering readers an insight into a fascinating aspect of Swiss society and an opportunity to explore Highsmith's final concerns and obsessions
  • Francine Prose

    O Magazine
    All the qualities we love about Highsmith's work . . . are here in abundance . . . her characters astonish themselves, and us, by discovering love in the very last places they ever expected to find it