Re: RARA-AVIS: Patricia Highsmith biography

From: John Williams (
Date: 13 Aug 2003

Mario reported as follows

> Last Sunday's Washington Post Book World contains a review
> by Alice Turner of Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia
> Highsmith_ by Andrew Wilson. The review is probably still
> online.
> According to the reviewer, this is a dispassionate
> biography that doesn't try to glorify its subject. Here is
> Otto Penzler on Patricia, as quoted in the book:
> "There was an unredeemable ugliness to her. I never
> witnessed a kind thought, a kind word, a kind gesture in
> all the time we spent together."
Well I only met Patricia Highsmith once (to interview her in 1988) but I would liek to completely refute this view of Highsmith. I found her odd and socially awkward, but funny and likeable. As for the kind gesture. I got my publisher to send her galleys of my first book and she came back promptly with a very nice blurb. Might it perhaps be the case that Highsmith was one of that not inconsiderable number of writers who have found Mr Penzler's own charm hard to detect?


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 13 Aug 2003 EDT