The Talented Miss Highsmith by Joan Schenkar
The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith

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Synopsis

Patricia Highsmith, one of the great writers of 20th Century American fiction, had a life as darkly compelling  as that of her favorite "hero-criminal," talented Tom Ripley. In this revolutionary biography, Joan Schenkar paints a riveting portrait, from Highsmith's birth in Texas to Hitchcock's  filming of her first novel, Strangers On a Train, to her long, strange, self-exile in Europe. We see her as a secret writer for the comics, a brilliant creator of disturbing fictions, and erotic predator with dozens of women (and a few good men) on her love list. The Talented Miss Highsmith is the first literary biography with access to Highsmith's whole story: her closest friends, her oeuvre, her archives. It's a compulsive page-turner unlike any other, a book worthy of Highsmith herself.
 

About Joan Schenkar

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JOAN SCHENKAR is the author of Truly Wilde: The Unsettling Story of Dolly Wilde as well as a collection of plays, Signs of Life: 6 Comedies of Menace. She lives in Paris and Greenwich Village
 
Published January 18, 2010 by St. Martin's Press. 732 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Gay & Lesbian. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Talented Miss Highsmith

Kirkus Reviews

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Schenkar makes the case that Highsmith was most comfortable when she was herself uncomfortable, living in cold, dark houses throughout Europe where she never mastered the native languages, or was virulently alienating lovers, editors and most particularly her mother.

Nov 01 2009 | Read Full Review of The Talented Miss Highsmith: ...

The New York Times

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Joan Schenkar’s biograpy of the author Patricia Highsmith takes an unconventional approach to telling the story of an unconventional woman.

Dec 03 2009 | Read Full Review of The Talented Miss Highsmith: ...

The New York Times

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A witty biography of the manipulative, secretive and obsessive novelist Patricia Highsmith, creator of Tom Ripley, a character who was a version of herself.

Dec 20 2009 | Read Full Review of The Talented Miss Highsmith: ...

The Wall Street Journal

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Patricia Highsmith, one of the 20th-century's most powerful writers, led a life as darkly conflicted as that of her hero-criminal, the killer Tom Ripley.

Dec 07 2009 | Read Full Review of The Talented Miss Highsmith: ...

The Wall Street Journal

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A wayward life—and fiction featuring erotic predators and criminal designs.

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The Globe and Mail

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Patricia Highsmith showed the world in both her work and her life that evil and good reside in all of us

Feb 11 2010 | Read Full Review of The Talented Miss Highsmith: ...

Entertainment Weekly

The Talented Miss Highsmith (2009) Can anyone really be surprised that Patricia Highsmith (1921-95), the author who dreamed up the handsome sociopath Tom Ripley, was a petty, ungenerous, often vengeful… 2009-12-08 Jo...

Dec 09 2009 | Read Full Review of The Talented Miss Highsmith: ...

The Washington Post

This review of Joan Schenkar's book "The Talented Miss Highsmith: The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith" incorrectly said that Schenkar knew Highsmith in the latter part of Highsmith's life, and the review was based on that mistaken assumption, including the reviewer's wish that S...

Dec 22 2009 | Read Full Review of The Talented Miss Highsmith: ...

Dallas News

In the introductory note, which opens her mesmeric, magnum-size biography of Texas-born writer Patricia Highsmith, Joan Schenkar gets right to it: "She wasn't nice.

Dec 20 2009 | Read Full Review of The Talented Miss Highsmith: ...

Open Letters Monthly

In 1940, Highsmith wrote, “I am married to my mother./ I shall never wed another.” Even more troublingly, she describes a story she wants to write that reveals the homicidal impulse always lurking at the edges of her fiction: Have a great desire to write sometime of a young girl putting her moth...

Feb 01 2010 | Read Full Review of The Talented Miss Highsmith: ...

Bookmarks Magazine

Patricia Highsmith: In this widely praised psychological thriller, Highsmith introduces readers to charming sociopath Tom Ripley, a man who will stop at nothing to lead the carefree life of luxury he craves.

Dec 07 2009 | Read Full Review of The Talented Miss Highsmith: ...

Book Forum

Unlike Andrew Wilson's dutiful, nonjudgmental, occasionally dull 2003 study, Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith (part of a burst of Highsmithiana in 2002–03 that also includes ex-girlfriend Marijane Meaker's memoir Highsmith: A Romance of the 1950s and Nothing That Meets the Eye: The ...

Dec 04 2009 | Read Full Review of The Talented Miss Highsmith: ...

http://www.sheilaomalley.com

In 1954, in a book called Seduction of the Innocent, the well-meaning, socially concerned, progressive psychiatrist Dr. Frederic Wertham2 – subsequently much vilified by comic book fans – had a fine time exposing just what another successful Superhero, Batman, was really getting up to with his bo...

Sep 01 2011 | Read Full Review of The Talented Miss Highsmith: ...

Straight.com

In The Talented Miss Highsmith: The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith, biographer Joan Schenkar offers a remarkably compelling look at the complex personality of novelist Patricia Highsmith.

Feb 03 2010 | Read Full Review of The Talented Miss Highsmith: ...

Reader Rating for The Talented Miss Highsmith
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