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The Glass Cell: A Virago Modern Classic

Patricia Highsmith

4 Reviews

Rated 0

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

'The Glass Cell has lost little of its disturbing power . . . Highsmith was a genuine one-off, and her books will haunt you' Daily Telegraph

Philip Carter has spent six years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. On his release his beautiful wife is waiting for him. He has never had any reason to doubt her. Nor their friend, Sullivan. Carter has never been suspicious, or violent. But prison can change a man.

In 1961, Patricia Highsmith received a fan letter from a prison inmate. A correspondence ensued and Highsmith became fascinated with the psychological traumas that incarceration can inflict.

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Praise for The Glass Cell: A Virago Modern Classic

  • 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

  • Highsmith writes about men like a spider writing about flies - Observer

  • For eliciting the menace that lurks in familiar surroundings, there's no one like Patricia Highsmith - Time

  • [Highsmith's] characters are irrational, and they leap to life in their very lack of reason; suddenly we realize how unbelievably rational most fictional characters are. . . . Highsmith is the poet of apprehension rather than fear - Graham Greene

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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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