We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Who is Patricia Highsmith?

Niki Acker
By
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
PublicPeople is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At PublicPeople, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Patricia Highsmith was one of the most talented American novelists and short story writers of the 20th century. She is well known for her claustrophobic crime thrillers and macabre short fiction. Many of her works, notably Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley, have been adapted to film.

Patricia Highsmith was born Mary Patricia Plangman in Fort Worth, Texas on 19 January 1921. Her parents had divorced five months before Patricia's birth, and she spent her early childhood with her grandmother, who instilled in her a love of reading. Highsmith later moved in with her mother and stepfather, with whom her life was very stressful. Her relationship with her mother in particular was stormy and complicated.

Highsmith studied English composition at Barnard College, graduating in 1942. She began writing professionally for various comic book publishers immediately after graduation, and she spent her twenties living in New York City and Mexico. Her first novel, Strangers on a Train, was published in 1950. It was fairly successful, but it was not until Hitchcock's 1951 adaptation of the novel that Highsmith's career really began to take off. In addition to Strangers on a Train, Highsmith is perhaps best known for her series of novels featuring the character Tom Ripley.

Much of Highsmith's fiction, including the Ripley novels, features homosexual themes, and she wrote the first work of homosexual fiction with a happy ending, The Price of Salt, under the pseudonym Claire Morgan in 1953. Highsmith had many lesbian affairs, in addition to some with men, but she was a private person who suffered from alcoholism and had difficulty maintaining relationships in general. Her longest relationship, with fellow writer Marijane Meaker, lasted only two years, from 1959 to 1961.

In 1963, Highsmith became disillusioned with American culture and foreign policy, which she considered hypocritical, and moved to Europe, where she would spend the rest of her life. She continued writing until her last days, in which she suffered from leukemia. Patricia Highsmith died on 4 February 1995 in Locarno, Switzerland, and her final novel, Small g: a Summer Idyll, was published a week later.

PublicPeople is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Niki Acker
By Niki Acker
"In addition to her role as a PublicPeople editor, Niki Foster is passionate about educating herself on a wide range of interesting and unusual topics to gather ideas for her own articles. A graduate of UCLA with a double major in Linguistics and Anthropology, Niki's diverse academic background and curiosity make her well-suited to create engaging content for WiseGeekreaders. "
Discussion Comments
By StormyKnight — On Nov 19, 2010

@boathugger: Patricia Highsmith won the French Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere in 1957. In 1964, she was awarded a Silver Dagger by the British Crime Writers Association. In 1979, she was awarded the Grand Master award by the Swedish Academy of Detection.

By GardenTurtle — On Nov 19, 2010

@boathugger: Highsmith explored the psychology of abnormal behavior and guilt. Many of her stories dealt with questions of personality and identity. Not only was she a talented writer, she was also a sculptor and a painter.

It is said that Patricia Highsmith was somewhat of a recluse. She spent most of her life alone. A publisher by the name of Otto Penzler described Highsmith as “the most unloving and unlovable person I have ever known”.

By BoatHugger — On Nov 19, 2010

Does anyone have any additional information about Patricia Highsmith?

Niki Acker
Niki Acker
"In addition to her role as a PublicPeople editor, Niki Foster is passionate about educating herself on a wide range of...
Learn more
PublicPeople, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

PublicPeople, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.