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If You Like Patricia Highsmith
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Meet the Writers

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									Patricia HighsmithPatricia Highsmith
Though she penned such great psychological crime novels as Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith's gifts went largely unrecognized by American readers until recently. Fortunately, Highsmith's bizarre, subtly shaded novels were too good to remain obscure.

* Read the biography

Fact File

Patricia Highsmith
Also Known As:
Mary Patricia Plangman (birth name); Claire Morgan (pen name)
Date of Birth:
January 19, 1921
Place of Birth:
Fort Worth, Texas
Date of Death:
February 4, 1995
Place of Death:
Locarno, Switzerland
B.A., Barnard College, 1942
O. Henry Prize for "The Heroine," 1946; Edgar Award for The Talented Mr. Ripley, 1956; Silver Dagger Award for The Two Faces of January, 1956

The Best Book to Read First

Selected Works

Book Cover Image. Title: 
								Talented Mr. Ripley, Author: 
								Patricia Highsmith.

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Talented Mr. Ripley
by Patricia Highsmith
Good movie, better book. The Talented Mr. Ripley invites readers into the psyche of charming, amoral Tom Ripley, where we find ourselves comfortably at home among his vanities, insecurities and material longings. But our identification with Tom takes a disquieting turn as he callously goes about taking what he wants -- including another man's life.

*  Read an excerpt
Book Cover Image. Title: 
								Ripley under Water, Author: 
								Patricia Highsmith.
*  Strangers on a Train (1950)
*  The Talented Mr. Ripley (1955)
*  The Two Faces of January (1964)
*  Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction (1966)
*  Ripley Under Water (1991)
*  The Selected Stories of Patricia Highsmith (2000)
*  Nothing That Meets the Eye: The Uncollected Stories of Patricia Highsmith (2002)

*  See the Patricia Highsmith chronology

Playing Fetch

In The Talented Mr. Ripley, a wealthy shipping magnate -- thinking Tom Ripley is a college chum of his son's -- pays Ripley to find the son abroad and convince him to come back to the States to take part in the family business. The conceit parallels a similar set-up in Henry James's The Ambassadors: An American widow sends her fiance to bring her son back from Paris. Highsmith was an admirer of James and acknowledged the similarity by having Mr. Greenleaf allude to it in the novel.

*  The Ambassadors by Henry James

A New Collection

The Hitchcock Classic

Book Cover Image. Title: 
								Nothing That Meets the Eye: The Uncollected Stories of Patricia Highsmith, Author: 
								Patricia Highsmith.

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Nothing That Meets the Eye: The Uncollected Stories of Patricia Highsmith
by Patricia Highsmith
Highsmith died in 1995, but two new collections of her short stories have added a new breadth to her work. Nothing That Meets the Eye features 28 vintage stories, many never before published, and occasionally shows a sweeter side to the author. Selected Stories, published in 2001, likewise displays Highsmith's talent for tight, strange, haunting stories.

*The Selected Stories of Patricia Highsmith  by Patricia Highsmith
Book Cover Image. Title: 
								Strangers on a Train, Author: 
								Patricia Highsmith.

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Strangers on a Train
by Patricia Highsmith
Highsmith's first novel became the classic 1951 movie directed by Alfred Hitchock (and scripted by, among others, the legendary Raymond Chandler). As with Ripley, Highsmith shows her ability to reveal the sociopathic personalities lurking beneath everyday exchanges when a happenstance train conversation leads to murder.

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Photo by Marion Ettlinger