Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith (Bloomsbury Lives of Women)
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The life of Patricia Highsmith, author of Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley, was as secretive and unusual as that of many of the characters who people her "peerlessly disturbing" thrillers and short stories. In Beautiful Shadow, the first biography of Highsmith, British journalist Andrew Wilson mines the vast archive of diaries, notebooks, and letters the writer left behind, astonishing in their candor and detail. He draws on interviews with her closest friends and colleagues, as well as some of her many lovers, and traces Highsmith's literary roots in the work of Poe, noir, and existentialism, whose influence distinguished Highsmith's writing so startlingly from more ordinary thrillers. The result is both a serious critical biography and one that reveals much about a brilliant and contradictory woman, one who despite her acclaim and affairs always maintained her solitude.