Screenwriter and playwright Phyllis
Nagy revealed this week that writer Patricia Highsmith enjoyed having
sex with women but preferred the company of men.
Nagy wrote the screenplay for the
lesbian romance film Carol – considered an Oscar contender –
which she adapted from Highsmith's novel The Price of Salt,
first published in 1952.
In her early 20s, Nagy met and
“As far as I'm aware, it was the
first relatively mainstream lesbian novel to be published that
included not only a relatively happy ending, but it did not include
the death of one of its lesbian heroines, or one of them going to an
insane asylum or nunnery,” Nagy said during an appearance on NPR's
Nagy added that Highsmith at one point
attempted to date men.
“The unwholesome truth about Pat is
she was a lesbian who did not very much enjoy being around other
said. “So the attempt to dabble with one man seriously, and
perhaps a few others along the way, was to just see if she could be
into men in that way, because she so much more preferred their
company. Pat would've been a great member of [Mad Men's
agency] Sterling-Cooper ... and really, I think, that was the
formative psychological trait ... that she really didn't like women.
She liked to have sex with them and she liked them to go home and
shut up, but she much preferred the company of males.”