“The terror is lurking either in the home, or just outside of it”: How women writers redefined postwar noir – Scott Timberg

A new anthology from the Library of America may make us rethink the history of American crime fiction. “Women Crime Writers: Eight Suspense Novels of the 1940s and ’50s” collects novels mostly by people you’ve never heard of but will want to know more about after you’ve completed its two volumes.

But film fans will recognize some of the collection: One of the authors is noir existentialist Patricia Highsmith – who wrote “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and “The Price of Salt,” which will be released this fall as “Carol,” starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. The ‘40s volume opens with “Laura,” the short Vera Caspary novel that inspired the classic 1944 Otto Preminger film starring Gene Tierney. The same volume includes Dorothy B. Hughes’ “In a Lonely Place,” which Nicholas Ray adapted as a film noir, now sometimes overlooked, starring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame.

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