Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks

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Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781474617734

Price: £21.99

ON SALE: 16th November 2021

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

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‘It promises to be one of the literary highlights of 2021 – publication of the diaries of Patricia Highsmith, one of the most conflicted, fascinating novelists of the 20th century’ Edward Helmore, Guardian

Patricia Highsmith’s first novel was picked up by Hitchcock and was a world-wide success. Her second novel was meant to tell everything about her true inside and dare what no-one had dared to write before: a lesbian love-story with a happy ending. But when she eventually relented to publish it under a pseudonym, it was a decision that would shape her life more than she could have guessed at the time. Henceforth she would vent her inner life either encoded in her future novels or – unbeknownst to most – in the 18 diaries and 38 notebooks she kept throughout her life. The way she talked about her journals – especially her notebooks – indicates that she always meant to bring them into the open one day. To publish them now means to tell the story of a strong woman battling with the social norms and sexual mores of her time in her own words.

Her journals reveal a most complex life that might help explain why her novels were so much more than just crime novels: world literature.

For the centenary year of Highsmith’s birth in 2021, the first time Patricia Highsmith’s personal journals, edited down to 650 pages, will be available to the public.


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
Offers the most complete picture ever published of how Highsmith saw herself
New York Times
One of the finest writers in the English language
Richard Osman
One of the literary highlights of 2021
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
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
I love Highsmith so much. What a revelation her writing was
Gillian Flynn
Few writers fathomed with such intensity the dark places of the human mind
Evening Standard
There is no one quite like Highsmith
Anita Brookner
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