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Patricia Highsmith
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    (January 19, 1921-February 4, 1995)
    Born in Fort Worth, Texas
    Birth name was Mary Patricia Plangman
    Wrote 22 novels and 9 short story collections
    Best known for 'Strangers on a Train' (1950) and the Ripley series: 'The Talented Mr. Ripley' (1955), 'Ripley Underground' (1970), 'Ripley's Game' (1974), 'The Boy Who Followed Ripley' (1980) and 'Ripley Underwater' (1991)
    She resented her stepfather and had an intense love-hate relationship with her mother.
    She was an alcoholic.
    Her relationships rarely lasted more than a few years.
    While working at Bloomingdale's, she became obsessed with a customer, got her address from her credit card details, and spied on her without her knowledge.
    She kept 200 snails as pets and carried them in her handbag.
    Her acquaintances considered her misanthropic.
    She said, 'My imagination functions much better when I don't have to speak to people.'
    Her mother claimed to have tried to abort her by drinking turpentine.
    'Strangers on a Train' was famously adapted as a film by Alfred Hitchcock.
    Her novel 'The Price of Salt' (1953) was one of the first examples of lesbian fiction with a happy ending.
    Graham Greene called her 'the poet of apprehension.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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