Patricia Highsmith

Patricia Highsmith, 1921–95, American novelist, b. Fort Worth, Tex., as Mary Patricia Plangman, grad. Barnard College (B.A. 1942). She first traveled to Europe in 1949 and moved there in 1963, living in Italy, France, and Switzerland. After the publication of her first novel, Strangers on a Train (1950, film by Alfred Hitchcock 1951), she was acclaimed a master of the novel of psychological menace. Dubbed a "poet of apprehension" by Graham Greene, Highsmith wrote more than 20 novels, the best known of which feature a handsome psychopath named Tom Ripley as their antihero. These include The Talented Mister Ripley (1955, films 1960 and 1999), Ripley's Game (1974), The Boy Who Followed Ripley (1980), and Ripley under Water (1991). In addition to her crime fiction, Highsmith wrote a novel of lesbian love, The Price of Salt (1952, originally pub. under the pseud. Claire Morgan), which was filmed as Carol (2015). She also wrote the nonfiction Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction (1966, rev. ed. 1981) and the posthumously published novel Small g (1995, repr. 2004). Her chilling tales of crime and cruelty appeared in a number of collections as well as in her selected (2001) and uncollected stories (2002).

See The Complete Ripley Novels (2008); biographies by R. Harrison (1997), A. Wilson (2003), and J. Schenkar (2009); study by N. Mawer (2004).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Patricia Highsmith: Selected full-text books and articles

Identity Theft: The Amoral Vision of Patricia Highsmith By Targan, Eric The Midwest Quarterly, Vol. 56, No. 4, Summer 2015
Visions of Violence: Christianity and Anti-Humanism in Patricia Highsmith's Ripliad By Dill, Scott Christianity and Literature, Vol. 63, No. 3, Spring 2014
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Adaptation as Forgery: The Case of the Talented Mr. Ripley By Golsan, Katherine Post Script, Vol. 23, No. 3, Summer 2004
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Masculine Identity and Success: A Critical Analysis of Patricia Highsmith's the Talented Mr. Ripley and Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club By Tuss, Alex The Journal of Men's Studies, Vol. 12, No. 2, Winter 2004
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Patriotic Perversions: Patricia Highsmith's Queer Vision of Cold War America in the Price of Salt, the Blunderer, and Deep Water By Hesford, Victoria Women's Studies Quarterly, Vol. 33, No. 3/4, Fall 2005
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Popular Contemporary Writers By Michael D. Sharp Marshall Cavendish Reference, vol.6, 2006
The Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Fiction By Patrick O’Donnell; David W. Madden; Justus Nieland Wiley-Blackwell, vol.2, 2011
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