Patricia Highsmith in the SLA

Patricia Highsmith
Patricia Highsmith at a book signing, c. 1988.
© Photo: Thomas Werthefrongel

Patricia Highsmith was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on 19.01.1921 and died on 04.02.1995 in Locarno (Ticino).

She was raised in Fort Worth and in New York where she studied and found work as a text writer for comic strips. Following the publication of her first thriller, Strangers on a Train (1950), she was able to make a living as a writer. She traveled extensively, especially to and in Europe, taking up residence in England in 1963. She moved to France in 1967 and finally to Switzerland (Ticino) in 1981. Patricia Highsmith wrote more than 20 novels, plus many short stories, essays and articles for the media.

She owed much of her fame to the five Ripley novels, featuring the murderer and anti-hero Tom Ripley, who always somehow managed to cover up his tracks. Only part of her work is crime fiction however. Highsmith was above all concerned with the psychology of her characters, and with human relationships and the way in which they degenerate into violence. The novel The Price of Salt deals with the subject of a Lesbian relationship. Her works have inspired several films, by such well known directors as Alfred Hitchcock, Claude Chabrol, Wim Wenders and Anthony Minghella.

Last modification 08.02.2021

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