Thursday, January 6, 2011

I Like Your Style: Patricia Highsmith

I happened to catch "The Talented Mr. Ripley" on TV yesterday while I was working from home, and was reminded that I've always meant to read some of author Patricia Highsmith's work. My impression of her was that she was a young, feisty Flannery O'Connorish prototype of Patti Smith, writing psychosexual books that were entirely unladylike and deliciously haunting. 

I had never seen a picture of her until yesterday and was struck at how much she reminds me of Peggy's lesbian friend Joyce on Mad Men.

Highsmith spent her post-Barnard days writing comic books with the boys. At 29, she finally graduated up to novelist in 1950, when her book "Strangers on a Train" came out. It was soon adapted to film by Hitchcock.

Acquaintances have remembered her as cruel and unloving, but at least she had her cats.

And looked darn stylish in her Bertoia chair.

She died in 1994, seemingly having never smiled with her teeth. No matter; at least she had a "look."

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