Patricia Highsmith at 100

Carmen Maria Machado at The Guardian:

There has always been something fundamentally difficult about Patricia Highsmith. And not difficult in the way that most people mean it: ironic, quirky, feminist (“Well-behaved women rarely make history”, and so on). I mean truly, legitimately difficult; a well of darkness with no discernible bottom.

Which is not to say that she wasn’t, in her own way, endearing. She was, after all, a genius, a bona fide eccentric. She loved animals, particularly snails, which she kept by the hundred as pets and took to parties clinging to a leaf of lettuce in her handbag. Writer and critic Terry Castle describes how she once “smuggled her cherished pet snails through French customs by hiding six or eight of them under each bosom”. She was famous for her wit and wicked sense of humour, and she wrote compellingly of loneliness and empathetically about disempowered housewives and children.

more here.