Patricia Highsmith

Patricia Highsmith (born Mary Patricia Plangman, January 19, 1921 – February 4, 1995) was an American writer.

Highsmith attended Julia Richman High School in New York City, and published her first stories in the school’s magazine. In 1938, she began her studies at Barnard College, where she studied English composition, playwriting, and the short story, and worked on the college’s literary publication. After graduating in 1942, she worked as writer of several different comic book series, and published short stories in several magazines, such as Harper’s Bazaar. In 1948, she spent two months at the Yaddo artist’s colony, while she was working on her first novel, Strangers on a Train (1950).



  • 1946: O. Henry Award for best first story, “The Heroine” in Harper’s Bazaar
  • 1951: Edgar Award nominee for best first novel, Strangers on a Train
  • 1956: Edgar Award nominee for best novel,  The Talented Mr. Ripley
  • 1957: Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, The Talented Mr. Ripley
  • 1963: Edgar Award nominee for best short story, “The Terrapin”



  • Strangers on a Train (1950)
  • The Price of Salt (as Claire Morgan) (1952) (republished as Carol in 1990 under Highsmith’s name)
  • The Blunderer (1954)
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley (1955)
  • Deep Water (1957)
  • A Game for the Living (1958)
  • This Sweet Sickness (1960)
  • The Cry of the Owl (1962)
  • The Two Faces of January (1964)
  • The Glass Cell (1964)
  • A Suspension of Mercy (1965), also published as The Story-Teller
  • Those Who Walk Away (1967)
  • The Tremor of Forgery (1969)
  • Ripley Under Ground (1970)
  • A Dog’s Ransom (1972)
  • Ripley’s Game (1974)
  • Edith’s Diary (1977)
  • The Boy Who Followed Ripley (1980)
  • People Who Knock on the Door (1983)
  • Found in the Street (1986)
  • Ripley Under Water (1991)
  • Small g: a Summer Idyll (1995)

Short-story collections

  • Eleven (1970); also known as The Snail-Watcher and Other Stories, introduction by Graham Greene
  • Little Tales of Misogyny (1974)
  • The Animal Lover’s Book of Beastly Murder (1975)
  • Slowly, Slowly in the Wind (1979)
  • The Black House (1981)
  • Mermaids on the Golf Course (1985)
  • Tales of Natural and Unnatural Catastrophes (1987)
  • Chillers (1990)
  • Nothing That Meets the Eye: The Uncollected Stories (2002; posthumously published)


  • Miranda the Panda is on the Veranda (1958; children’s book of verse and drawings, co-written with Doris Sanders)
  • Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction (1966)
  • Patricia Highsmith: Selected Novels and Short Stories (2010)

Books about her

  • Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith, by Andrew Wilson (2003)
  • The Talented Miss Highsmith: The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith, by Joan Schenkar (2009)
  • Highsmith: A Romance of the 1950s, by Marijane Meaker (2003)


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