Please pardon our dust. Our team is hard at work standardizing and improving our database content. If you need assistance, please contact us.
"She is the crime writer who comes closest to giving crime writing a good name."
"'Low-key' is the word for Patricia Highsmith. Low-key, subtle, and profound. It is amazing to me that she is not better known, for she is superb and is a master of the suspense novel... [The body of her work] should be among the classic of the genre."
-J.M. Edelstein, New Republic
Award-winning author Patricia Highsmith was a suspense novelist and short story writer whose works explores the dark side of human nature. Typically, she explores guilt, as well as relationships between people who are simultaneously attracted to and repelled by one another. Her early classic, Strangers on a Train, is considered a masterpiece of suspense writing, which Alfred Hitchcock adapted for film in 1951. Many of her other works, including the series of detective Tom Ripley novels, have also been made into films. Highsmith maintained her connection to Hitchcock while writing for the television show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents. In their subtle character study, her novels have transcended the genre of crime fiction. Although she was popular in America, she found greater success in Europe. She is considered an important figure in gay/lesbian literature because many of her books deal with the close relationships between two men.
Photograph of Patricia Highsmith.
Education and Training
B.A., Barnard College, New York, New York, 1942
Teachers and Influences
Colleagues: Alfred Hitchcock, Wim Wenders, Bene Clement, Claude Miller, Kate Kingsley Skattebol, Graham Greene, Gore Vidal, Paul Bowles.
Connection to Bucks County
Highsmith lived on Upper Mechanic Street in New Hope during the 1960s. Her novel The Cry of the Owl is set in Lambertville. Highsmith left a donation to the New Hope-Solebury Free Library in her will.
Colleagues and Affiliations
Highsmith was a friend of life-long New Hope resident Daisy Winston, as well as Arthur Koestler and Peggy Lewis.
Publicity photograph of Patricia Highsmith, c. 1962. Harper & Brothers, Deep Water.
Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction, 1966
Novels and Short Stories
Strangers on a Train, 1950
The Price Of Salt, under pseudonym Claire Morgan, 1952
The Blunderer, 1954
The Talented Mr. Ripley, 1955
A Game For Living, 1958
Deep Water, 1959
Miranda the Panda is on the Veranda, 1958
This Sweet Sickens, 1960
The Cry of the Owl, 1962
The Two Faces of January, 1964
The Glass Cell, 1964
The Story Teller, 1965
Those Who Walk Away, 1967
The Tremor of Forgery, 1969
The Snail Watcher and Other Stories, 1970
Ripley Under Ground, 1970
A Day's Ransom, 1972
Ripley's Game, 1974
The Animal Lover's Book of Beastly Murder, 1975
Edith's Diary, 1977
Slowly, Slowly in the Wind, 1979
The Black House, 1979
The Boy Who Followed Ripley, 1980
The People Who Knock On The Door, 1983
The Mysterious Mr. Ripley, 1985
Mermaids on the Golf Course and Other Stories, 1985
Little Tales of Misogyny, 1986
Found in the Street, 1986
Tales of Natural and Unnatural Catastrophes, 1987
Strangers on a Train was made into a film by Alfred Hitchcock for Warner Brothers in 1951 and served as the basis for Once you Kiss a Stranger in 1969.
Other books that have been made into films or served as their basis are: The Talented Mr. Ripley, The Blunderer, This Sweet Sickness, and Ripley's Game.
Wrote material for television, including Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Mystery Writers of America Scroll, 1954, and the Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere, for The Talented Mr. Ripley, 1957
Crime Writers Association of England Silver Dagger Award for Best Foreign Crime Novel of the Year, for The Two Faces of January, 1964
Affiliations and Memberships