Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781399623872

Price: £14.99

ON SALE: 8th February 2024

Genre: Biography & True Stories / Diaries, Letters & Journals

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‘My secrets – the secrets that everyone has – are here, in black and white.’

Before Alfred Hitchcock adapted her debut novel, Strangers on a Train, for the big screen; before Thomas Ripley snaked his way into the canon of psychological suspense; before Carol became a cult classic of romantic obsession, who was Patricia Highsmith?

Beginning in 1941 and encompassing Highsmith’s adventurous twenties, The New York Years is an intimate self-portrait of a young artist, reading voraciously and honing her craft, intertwined with scenes from her dizzying social life, rife with sleepless nights spent in the queer bars of Greenwich Village.

This condensed edition of Highsmith’s monumental Diaries and Notebooks offers all the pleasures of her fiction, along with an unparalleled insight into the life, mind and times of this enigmatic, iconic, trailblazing author.

‘One of the most observant and ecstatic accounts . . . about being young and alive in New York City’ New York Times


Offers the most complete picture ever published of how Highsmith saw herself
New York Times
Disclosures from a meticulously documented life. . . An admirably edited volume for scholars and voracious fans
Kirkus Reviews
Highsmith likens herself to "a steel needle", and her insights puncture complacency as if piercing flesh. She is the murderer, and we are all the victims
Offers insights into the thriller writer's many passions and creative intellect
Financial Times
One of the finest writers in the English language
Richard Osman
These secret diaries take us inside Patricia Highsmith's brilliant yet twisted mind . . . Here then, laid out for us, is the private life Highsmith transmuted into fiction, into those great novels in which innocence and guilt, good and evil meld into one another so alarmingly
Sunday Times
The quippiness of the journals is a delight, few can sum up the creative life this deliciously
Keep them beside the bed, dip into them each night. And read them you must. Magnificent
The Times
There is no one quite like Highsmith
Anita Brookner
As well as the late-night parties, alcohol and short-lived love affairs, we see a serious writer at work, determined to resist being pigeonholed
An unguarded portrait of a young woman taking the first tentative steps into the worlds of sex and literary endeavour . . . a capacious portrait of a complex author and a compelling coming-of-age story
Prospect Magazine
Provides stunning access to the mind of a notoriously secretive author
Vanity Fair
The whole book is excellent. Highsmith is pointed and dry about herself and everything else. But the early chapters are special. They comprise one of the most observant and ecstatic accounts I've read - and it's a crowded field! - about being young and alive in New York City
New York Times
[Her Diaries and Notebooks] testify to the recalcitrant, unrelenting spirit of this great American curmudgeon and gifted crime writer
Highsmith's astonishing candour in the witness stand of her personal notebooks, and heartbreaking self-exposures in the jury box of her diaries, are like nothing else in American confessional literature
Joan Schenkar
Here comes Patricia Highsmith at last, striding out of the closet, in her own words . . . A frank, and frankly disturbing, portrait of a writer who concealed the personal sources of her work for her entire life
Literary Review
Highsmith was every bit as deviant and quirky as her mischievous heroes, and didn't seem to mind if everyone knew it
J. G. Ballard
Patricia Highsmith's diaries are something to behold, She is deliciously eccentric and droll, her romances always threaded with bitterness and lust
Eva Wiseman, Observer
A quarter century after the death of novelist Highsmith (1921-1995), fans are given a fascinating and unprecedented look into the 'playground for her imagination' . . . Devotees and historians alike will linger over every morsel
Publishers Weekly
I don't think I've ever met a person as troubling or intelligent, frustrating and frustrated, and triumphantly alone. A master diarist as much as novelist. Highsmith's Her Diaries and Notebooks are a portrait of a time, a long passage from the forties to the nineties, and you've never travelled on this perspective before
Eileen Myles
I love Highsmith so much. What a revelation her writing was
Gillian Flynn
A vivid portrait of a driven, impassioned, brutal and remarkably singular person, with a vast appetite for women, alcohol and - above all - her work
New Statesman
One of the literary highlights of 2021
Few writers fathomed with such intensity the dark places of the human mind
Evening Standard
Opens a window onto this extraordinary writer's inner life and working methods . . . a welcome addition to the work of a most eccentric genius
Evening Standard