Patricia Highsmith

Just finished reading Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith by Andrew Wilson. A fascinating account of the life of the great crime writer. Meticulously researched and full of insider accounts of her private pain, alcoholism, anorexia and gossipy stories about her love life. Plenty of writing advice too – Highsmith challenged herself to come up with a plot every day while in the shower!

A compelling read about a brilliant, tragic woman.

As an author, Highsmith is something of a heroine for me, because she achieved the task of making an unlovable character - Ripley - sympathetic (almost). As a human being, she appears to have been a monster.