Her diaries and notebooks – P. Highsmith
It promises to be one of the literary highlights of 2021 – publication of the diaries of Patricia Highsmith, one of the most conflicted, fascinating novelists of the 20th century’ Edward Helmore, Guardian Patricia Highsmith’s first novel was picked up by Hitchcock and was a world-wide success. Her second novel was meant to tell everything about her true inside and dare what no-one had dared to write before: a lesbian love-story with a happy ending. But when she eventually relented to publish it under a pseudonym, it was a decision that would shape her life more than she could have guessed at the time. Henceforth she would vent her inner life either encoded in her future novels or – unbeknownst to most – in the 18 diaries and 38 notebooks she kept throughout her life. The way she talked about her journals – especially her notebooks – indicates that she always meant to bring them into the open one day. To publish them now means to tell the story of a strong woman battling with the social norms and sexual mores of her time in her own words. Her journals reveal a most complex life that might help explain why her novels were so much more than just crime novels: world literature. For the centenary year of Highsmith’s birth in 2021, the first time Patricia Highsmith’s personal journals, edited down to 650 pages, and illustrated with Highsmith’s own drawings and watercolors, will be available to the public.