Patricia Highsmith (1921-1995) was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and moved to New York when she was six. In her senior year she edited the college magazine, having decided at the age of sixteen to become a writer. Her first novel, Strangers on a Train, was made into a classic film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951. The Talented Mr Ripley, published in 1955, introduced the fascinating anti-hero Tom Ripley, and was made into an Oscar-winning film in 1999 by Anthony Minghella. Graham Greene called Patricia Highsmith 'the poet of apprehension', saying that she 'created a world of her own - a world claustrophobic and irrational which we enter each time with a sense of personal danger' and The Times named her no.1 in their list of the greatest ever crime writers. Patricia Highsmith died in Locarno, Switzerland, in February 1995. Her last novel, Small g: A Summer Idyll, was published posthumously, the same year.
Highsmith is a giant of the genre. The original, the best, the gloriously twisted Queen of Suspense - Mark BillinghamTo call Patricia Highsmith a thriller writer is true but not the whole truth: her books have stylistic texture, psychological depth, mesmeric readability - Sunday TimesHer novels, with their mysterious non sequiturs, weird pairings and attractions and moments of stifled comedy, have an unearthly sheen all their own...Highsmith was a genuine one-off, and her books will haunt you - Daily TelegraphI love Highsmith so much . . . What a revelation her writing is - Gillian FlynnOne closes most of her books with a feeling that the world is more dangerous than one had ever imagined - New York Times Book Review