Flung out of Space Inspired by the indecent adventures of Patricia Highsmith

Grace Ellis

Book - 2022

A fictional and complex portrait of bestselling author Patricia Highsmith caught up in the longing that would inspire her queer classic, The Price of Salt. Flung Out of Space is both a love letter to the essential lesbian novel, The Price of Salt, and an examination of its notorious author, Patricia Highsmith. Veteran comics creators Grace Ellis and Hannah Templer have teamed up to tell this story through Highsmith's eyes--reimagining the events that inspired her to write the story that would become a foundational piece of queer literature. Flung Out of Space opens with Pat begrudgingly writing low-brow comics. A drinker, a smoker, and a hater of life, Pat knows she can do better. Her brain churns with images of the great novel she cou...ld and should be writing--what will eventually be Strangers on a Train-- which would later be adapted into a classic film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951. At the same time, Pat, a lesbian consumed with self-loathing, is in and out of conversion therapy, leaving a trail of sexual conquests and broken hearts in her wake. However, one of those very affairs and a chance encounter in a department store give Pat the idea for her soon-to-be beloved tale of homosexual love that was the first of its kind--it gave the lesbian protagonists a happy ending. This is not just the story behind a classic queer book, but of a queer artist who was deeply flawed. It's a comic about what it was like to write comics in the 1950s, but also about what it means to be a writer at any time in history, struggling to find your voice. Author Grace Ellis contextualizes Patricia Highsmith as both an unintentional queer icon and a figure whose problematic views and noted anti-Semitism have cemented her controversial legacy. Highsmith's life imitated her art with results as devastating as the plot twists that brought her fame and fortune.

Saved in:

2nd Floor Comics Show me where

1 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor Comics GRAPHIC NOVEL/Ellis Checked In
Graphic novels
Comics (Graphic works)
Lesbian comics
Biographical comics
Historical comics
Queer comics
New York, NY : Abrams ComicArts Surely 2022.
Main Author
Grace Ellis (author)
Other Authors
Hannah Templer (illustrator)
Physical Description
199 pages : chiefly color illustrations ; 25 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 199).
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

In Flung Out of Space, readers get an unvarnished look at Patricia Highsmith's struggles during one of her most fruitful creative periods. While working at a comic book publisher, she starts freelancing with the competitor, Timely Comics (run by Stan Lee), in order to pay her exorbitant psychoanalyst bills. What Patricia wants more than anything is to be a New York literary writer, so she keeps her name off the comics she writes and subjects herself to psychoanalysis to in an effort to treat her lesbianism. Meanwhile, Patricia attempts to hide her relationships with women and lashes out at the people around her. After writing Strangers on a Train, Patricia is inspired to write what will be Carol. Despite suffering discrimination, the lauded writer holds her own unfair prejudices. The art style indulges in Highsmith's status as a writer of thrillers and pulp novels, painting her as an isolated, gritty noir figure. A thorough and honest portrayal of a towering figure of queer literary history, this book is perfect for fans of graphic biographies like Radioactive by Lauren Redniss.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Shot through with thick cigarette smoke and snappy dialogue, this graphic account by Ellis (the Moonstruck series) and Templer (Cosmoknights) of Patricia Highsmith's early career evokes the mood of the 1940s, along with its misogyny and homophobia--neither of which Highsmith, as a lesbian and ambitious artist, was immune to herself. Highsmith spends her days writing low-brow comics and her nights typing out "good novels with criminal elements." The mood is playfully captured in a panel where Stan Lee tries to recruit her. Highsmith's speech bubble is filled with smoke, a handgun, and a close-up of men trying to strangle each other. (Lee's sports caped super heroes.) Highsmith seeks psychoanalysis to become straight, but begins a romance with Virginia, a married redhead in her support group for "latent homosexuals," and their romance and breakup form the seed of her novel The Price of Salt (later Carol). After she finally finds a pulp publisher, a fan says the work inspired her to "find my own Carol and live happily ever after." Highsmith refuses to play the victim, but never quite escapes the forces that oppress her, which echo in the noir-esque art (dense shadows, imposing buildings). Highsmith devotees will appreciate this glimpse into how a life of secrets extended beyond the pages of her fiction. Agent (for Templer): Charlie Olsen, InkWell Management. (Mar.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved