New York: Woman's World Magazine, July 1935. Staple-bound folio magazine, 26 pages. Original color pictorial wrappers, black-and-white illustrations throughout text. Highsmith's story on pages 16 and 25. Mailing address printed to top lefthand corner of upper wrapper, lightest edgewear.
Crime novelist Patricia Highsmith’s first appearance in print, a series of letters written in 1933, when she was twelve years old, from her all-girls summer camp. Young “Patsy” exhibits many of the characteristics of precocious city kids: she laments the camp’s refusal to serve her coffee, requests the Sunday comics from the New York papers, longs for ice cream sodas and the movies, and exhibits a certain hard-boiled impatience with her fellow campers’ demands: “Even I know that is ridiculous.” Most interestingly, for the future writer of the pioneering lesbian novel The Price of Salt, is her question to her mother about skinny-dipping: “We are going in swimming ‘Diana’ tonight. Miss Brownie, too. . . . Diana means without any clothes on at all. Do you think it’s all right to go in Diana?” In real life, Highsmith returned from summer camp to discover that her mother and stepfather were separating. She would spend the following year at her grandmother’s house in Texas, far from the New York City she loved. A revealing early piece by the author of Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley.