Jamie's Reviews > The Talented Miss Highsmith: The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith

The Talented Miss Highsmith by Joan Schenkar
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's review
Jul 15, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: adult, biography
Read in July, 2010

If you know me, or follow my reviews, you know that my #1 favorite kind of book is a juicy biography of the category "Smart Women, Foolish Choices."

I've never read any Highsmith, though I have seen Strangers on a Train, but I doubted that would make her any less interesting to me. And this tale is SORDID! Think: Lindsay Lohan, as Ms. Highsmith is basically a drunken slutty lesbian for most of her youth. However, much of this could also have been due to the time period, as it was impossible for people to be "out" at the time.

Some of my favorite tidbits, so you don't have to read the entire, dense 600 page book if you don't want to.

*I think I have a dark sense of humor, but I look like Kenneth Parcell next to her.
*She loved cats (Look at the Siamese on the front!) more than people.
*She also loved snails, and she kept pet snails that she would sometimes carry in her purse and take out at parties and let them crawl around.
*She was a racist/anti-Semite fat-hater, and this got worse as she got older.
*After reading this whole book, I still have no idea if she was a good writer or a bad one.

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Comments (showing 1-2)

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Zeke Hmm..trying to figure out if I've read any "smart women, foolish choices" bios. What are some examples....favorites?

Jamie Two of my favorites are the ones on Martha Gellhorn and Alice Roosevelt. I also liked Cleaving by Julie Powell (not as great a woman as the aforementioned, but I liked this book MUCH MUCH more than most.)

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