Patricia Highsmith: Biography

Patricia Highsmith

19 jan 1921

Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Patricia Highsmith was famous for her Psychological thrillers. She had an attraction to this genre from a very young age. As a child, she used to create stories about her neighbours giving them imaginary psychological issues.

Patricia Highsmith’s parents divorced even before she was born. She lived with her grandmother most of the time. Patricia moved to England in 1951 but later lived in Switzerland in solitude with pets and books as her only companions. She studied English composition and playwright at Barnard College. After graduation, Patricia’s short story ‘The Heroine’ got published in Harper’s Bazaar Magazine and it won the ‘O Henry Award’ for short stories in 1946. Meanwhile she earned money by writing script for comic books.

Patricia’s first novel was ‘Strangers on a Train’ which was an immediate success and it was also adapted as a movie. Her second novel ‘The Price of Salt’ was about same sex romance and this got published under different title ‘Carol’ and under Pseudonym Claire Morgan in order to hide her identity. This was also made a movie.

Patricia wrote about ordinary people with their hidden secrets which gave her novels the thrill. 22 novels and 9 short story collections of Patricia were adapted to TV. No one can forget the book ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ and its main character Mr. Ripley which even had sequels. This book was awarded the Grand Pix de Literature Policiere’ for the best mystery novel translated into French.

Patricia’s works were popular in Europe than in U.S. She never got married nor had any children. Patricia lived with cats and snails in her farmhouse. Her personal life is not portrayed in a good way. Her last novel ‘Small g: a Summer Idyll’ was published a month after her death.

Patricia Highsmith died of Leukaemia on 4th Feb 1995 in Switzerland. Even after her death, her novels were made as movies. Although rumoured to have personal issues, Patricia entertained all her fans through her work.