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A Suspension of Mercy: A Virago Modern Classic

Patricia Highsmith

2 Reviews

Rated 0

Virago Modern Classics, Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

'Highsmith's novels are peerlessly disturbing . . . bad dreams that keep us thrashing for the rest of the night' New Yorker

Sydney Bartleby has killed his wife. At least, he has thought about it, compulsively, repeatedly, plotting schemes, designing escapes, forging alibis. Of course he has; he's a thriller writer. He even knows how to dispose of her body. But when Alicia takes a long, unannounced holiday, Sydney descends into the treacherous world of his own fantasy.

A masterpiece of noir fantasy in which Highsmith revels in eliciting the unsettling psychological forces that lurk beneath the surface of everyday life.

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Praise for A Suspension of Mercy: A Virago Modern Classic

  • Highsmith's novels are peerlessly disturbing . . . bad dreams that keep us thrashing for the rest of the night

  • My suspicion is that when the dust has settled and when the chronicle of 20th-century American literature comes to be written, history will place Highsmith at the top of the pyramid, as we should place Dostoevsky at the top of the Russian hierarchy of novelists - Daily Telegraph

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Patricia Highsmith

Patricia Highsmith (1921-1995) was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and moved to New York when she was six, where she attended the Julia Richman High School and Barnard College. In her senior year she edited the college magazine, having decided at the age of sixteen to become a writer. Her first novel, Strangers on a Train, was made into a classic film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951. The Talented Mr Ripley, published in 1955, introduced the fascinating anti-hero Tom Ripley, and was made into an Oscar-winning film in 1999 by Anthony Minghella. Graham Greene called Patricia Highsmith 'the poet of apprehension', saying that she 'created a world of her own - a world claustrophobic and irrational which we enter each time with a sense of personal danger' and The Times named her no.1 in their list of the greatest ever crime writers. Patricia Highsmith died in Locarno, Switzerland, in February 1995. Her last novel, Small g: A Summer Idyll, was published posthumously, the same year.

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