The legendary writer Patricia Highsmith is best remembered today for her chilling psychological thrillers The Talented Mr. Ripley and Strangers on a Train, which was made into the classic film by Alfred Hitchcock and Raymond Chandler. A critically-acclaimed best seller in Europe, Highsmith struggled during her life for recognition in the United States, but since her death in 1995 Highsmith’s reputation has grown tremendously, and she is now recognized as one of the signature voices of the troubled twentieth century. “When the dust has settled,” critic A.N. Wilson wrote, “and when the chronicle of twentieth-century American literature comes to be written, history will place Highsmith at the top of the pyramid, as we should place Dostoevsky at the top of the Russian hierarchy of novelists.”
Tales of Natural and Unnatural Catastrophes is the last short fiction published during Highsmith's lifetime. The ten eerily up-to-date stories chronicle a world gone slightly mad; environmental degradation, apocalyptic disaster, political chaos, and religious conservatism are captured in incisive prose that leaves us haunted with “afterimages that will tremblebut stayin our minds” (The New Yorker).
About the Author
Patricia Highsmith (1921-1995) was an American author known for her novels of psychological suspense. She wrote over two dozen books and short story collections, including her five Tom Ripley novels. Her first book Strangers on a Train was nominated for an Edgar Award and was later adapted into a film by Alfred Hitchcock. Many of her works have been adapted for the screen, including The Talented Mr. Ripley and most recently The Price of Salt which was renamed Carol.
Date of Birth:January 19, 1921
Date of Death:February 4, 1995
Place of Birth:Fort Worth, Texas
Place of Death:Locarno, Switzerland
Education:B.A., Barnard College, 1942