24.3.10

Patricia Highsmith's Greenwich Village

Highsmith's biographer takes a look around the American author's old neighbourhood
Patricia Highsmith, aged 21. Photograph: Rolf Tietgens

Patricia Highsmith's biographer, Joan Schenkar, offers the New York Times a tour of the author's Greenwich Village neighbourhood:
Patricia Highsmith wrote 22 novels, many of them set in Greenwich Village, where she lived. But the landscape of Highsmith Country consists not only of the physical Village neighborhood, but also the dark and desperate territory of Highsmith’s psyche.

“She is our most Freudian novelist,” said Joan Schenkar, whose biography of Highsmith was released this week by St. Martin’s Press. Having spent nearly eight years on the book, “The Talented Miss Highsmith,” Ms. Schenkar is the perfect tour guide for this novelist’s world. Standing in front of the red-brick building at 35 Morton Street where the 19-year-old Highsmith took a summer sublet in 1940 to escape her mother and stepfather, Ms. Schenkar continued: “To her, love and death are closely related. She tends to murder people in her novels where she made love in real life.” [Read the article]