Tales of Natural and Unnatural Catastrophes
Tales of Natural and Unnatural Catastrophes by Patricia Highsmith
In Tales of Natural and Unnatural Catastrophes Highsmith returns to the short-story form, where, as Graham Greene has written, "she is after the quick kill rather than the slow encirclement of the reader, and how admirably and with field-craft she hunts us down." Her spare and incisive prose chronicles a world gone slightly mad, its catastrophes precipitated by human folly and excess. From the White House under siege by homeless to a Japanese whaling ship under attack by its very quarry, or from the enormous tumescent growths in an Austrian cemetery to Naomi, a 190-year-old woman perpetually near death and dimly glowing, each tale unfolds the illogical extremes of humanity. Cockroach invasions and religious hysteria, abortion rights and toxic waste dumping, Highsmith transmogrifies the face of daily existence.