(1921 - 1995)
“I can easily bear cold, loneliness, hunger and toothache, but I cannot bear noise, heat, interruptions, or other people”

Mary Patricia Highsmith was an American novelist. In her lifetime, she wrote twenty-two novels and a substaintial amount of short stories, becoming especially well known for her psychological thrillers. She was described by Graham Greene as “the poet of apprehension”.

She was born in Texas, moving to New York in 1927. Highsmith’s grandmother taught her to read at an early age and she used her grandmother’s library with great eagerness. She graduated from Barnard College in 1942 where she studied English composition, playwriting and short story prose.

Her difficult relationship with her mother followed her, as did her cycles of bad mental health despite her literary success. The difficult relationship was fictionalized in The Terrapin but was reportedly never resolved. Her first novel, Strangers on a Train, was published in 1950 to great success and was adapted into a film by the legendary Alfred Hitchcock. Highsmith also wrote a groundbreaking novel under the pseudonym Claire Morgan in 1952. The Price of Salt is often credited as one of the first ‘lesbian novels’ to have a happy ending. It was republished thirty-eight years later under her real name with the title of Carol, in reference to the narrator’s love interest. 

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Mermaids on the Golf Course