Price of salt (The) Price of Salt-Front.jpg Price of Salt-Back.jpg

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Physical Dimensions

249 pages
18 cm

Female Protagonists Meet or Introduced to the Reader

Meeting Notes

Carole Aird and Therese Belivet meet in a department store when shop clerk Therese assists Carole in purchasing a gift.


Damon, Gene. "The Price of Salt.” Ladder, vol. 1, no. 8, May 1957

This is a novel that probes deeply into special problems of a Lesbian. Being remarkably free of the old “candlelight and death” symbolism, and having a “different” kind of an ending, this may well exemplify a new outlook long awaited by the homosexual world.

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This Book is Discussed in

Hesford, Victoria J. "'A Love Flung out of Space': Lesbians in the City in Patricia Highsmith's the Price of Salt." Paradoxa: Studies in World Literary Genres, vol. 18, 2003, pp. 118-135.

Hesford, Victoria. "Patriotic Perversions: Patricia Highsmith's Queer Vision of Cold War America in" The Price of Salt"," The Blunderer", and" Deep Water"." Women's Studies Quarterly 33.3/4 (2005): 215-233.

James, Jenny M. "Maternal Failures, Queer Futures: Reading the Price of Salt (1952) and Carol (2015) against Their Grain." GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian & Gay Studies, vol. 24, no. 2/3, Apr. 2018, pp. 291-314.

King, Derrick. "The City and the Country: Queer Utopian Spaces in John Rechy’s City of Night and Patricia Highsmith’s The Price of Salt." Civil Rights Literature, Past and Present, Christopher Allen Varlack, Salem; Grey House, 2017, pp. 174-190.

Love, Heather. "In Frankenberg's Cafeteria: The Small Worlds of Highsmith's the Price of Salt." Literary/Liberal Entanglements: Toward a Literary History for the Twenty-First Century, Corrinne Harol and Mark Simpson, University of Toronto Press, 2017, pp. 192-212.

More information about contested books

Contested in the U.S.A and Canada by the National Organization for Decent Literature. The Bantam paperback edition was rated as 'objectionable', but the Coward-McCann hardcover edition was rated as 'borderline'.
The Censorship Board of Ireland prohibited The Price of Salt from 6 October 1959.

Cover, Back Text

"'A NEW DEPARTURE' Here is a novel, utterly sincere and honest, which deals with a subject until recently considered taboo. Now a young woman, Claire Morgan, comes along and writes of unsanctioned love from a completely new point of view. As the Louisville Times says: 'The Price of Salt...seems to mark a new departure in this type of fiction...Claire Morgan is completely natural. She has a story to tell and she tells it with an almost conversational ease. Her people are neither degenerate monsters nor fragile victims of the social order. They must - and do - pay a price for thinking, feeling and loving 'differently
' but they are courageous and true to themselves throughout.' This low-priced Bantam book, complete and unabridged, is made possible by the large sale and effective promotion of the original edition, published by Coward-McCann, Inc." -Back cover

Cover Art Description

The cover image is divided in two scenes that merge into one another. The scene on the left is an indoors scene, whilst the scene on the right is an outdoors one. On the left, there are two women. One is a blonde with hair to her shoulders who reclines to her right on an olive green, cushioned chair or sofa that is only shown partially. She wears a gray, long skirt and a lilac blouse with short sleeves and a straight neckline. Her shoes are flats. Her head is supported by her right hand, the arm bent at the elbow and rested across the top of the chair's back. Her left hand touches the seat of the chair on her right and her legs stretch to her left, over the left edge of the chair. Her eyes are directed towards the outdoors, merged scene on the right. Behind her, a brunette with hair tied at the back stands, resting her left hand on the blonde's left shoulder. She holds a cigarette in her right hand, which is raised over her chest. She is wearing a black dress with short sleeves and a wide V-neck. A necklace hangs from her neck, and she is slightly bent over, looking at the blonde. There appears to be a ring with a large gem on her left hand, and a bracelet in her right wrist, and she is wearing earrings. In the outdoors scene, on a road by a mountain stands a man. His hair is short and parted on the side, and he wears blue pants and a light blue shirt with sleeves rolled up to his forearms. His right hand is raised slightly toward the blonde, and his left hand stretches down. His legs are spread shoulder-wide. There is a long shadow stretching in front of him and, behind him, a sunset or sunrise is shown under a dark sky. The image is framed inside three light-green edges.

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Additional Information

Talbot, Margaret. “Forbidden Love: The passions behind Patricia Highsmith's 'The Price of Salt.', The New Yorker, November 22, 2015.

Item Relations

Item: Bantam Publisher This Item
Item: Highsmith, Patricia (Claire Morgan) Creator This Item


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Morgan, Claire, “Price of salt (The),” The Lesbian Pulp Fiction Collection @ Mount Saint Vincent University, accessed July 13, 2024,