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Patricia Highsmith Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (10) | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (3)

Born in Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Died in Locarno, Switzerland  (leukemia)
Birth NameMary Patricia Plangman

Mini Bio (1)

Patricia Highsmith was born on January 19, 1921 in Fort Worth, Texas, USA as Mary Patricia Plangman. She was a writer, known for The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), Strangers on a Train (1951) and The Two Faces of January (2014). She died on February 4, 1995 in Locarno, Switzerland.

Trivia (10)

Used the pseudonym Claire Morgan for the novel The Price of Salt (later retitled Carol) because of its autobiographical lesbian theme, to avoid pigeonholing.
Emigrated to England in 1951. Lived most of her life in Switzerland.
Attended Barnard College
President of the 'Official Competition' jury at the 28th Berlin International Film Festival in 1978.
Raised by her grandmother in Greenwich Village, and taught to read at the age of two.
Disliked being classified as a 'crime writer'. She is perhaps better described as an author of psychological thrillers, often examining people put into harrowing situations through seemingly innocuous catalysts.
Spent much of her later life in solitude on a 200-year old farmhouse near Locarno, Switzerland, surrounded by books and cats.
Her work enjoyed greater popularity in Europe than in the United States.
In-between England (she lived in Suffolk from 1963 - 1967) and Switzerland (she moved to Switzerland in 1983), Patricia Highsmith spent many years living in France not far from Fontainebleau in a small village called Montcourt where she wrote her second, third and fourth of five Ripley sequels. Belle Ombre, Ripley's fictitious house, is located very close to Montcourt. Andrew Wilson wrote a biography on Highsmith called "Beautiful Shadow" a translation of Belle Ombre.
Although she was quite open about having had several lesbian relationships in her life, mostly short-lasting, she did at one time seriously consider marrying the writer Marc Brandel, although they agreed to abandon the idea eventually.

Personal Quotes (2)

[on film versions of her novels]: Really, I don't mind too much if they take liberties with my plots, because they're trying to do something quite different from a book, and I think they have a right to change the story as much as they wish. I couldn't write a book with the idea in my mind that it was going to be a film. That would be like thinking of a statue when you're painting a picture.
In view of the fact that I surround myself with numbskulls now, I shall die among numbskulls, and on my deathbed shall be surrounded by numbskulls who will not understand what I am saying ... Whom am I sleeping with these days? Franz Kafka!

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