in February, the Paris Review's blog ran this note on Patricia Highsmith and the mysteries of biography--why does a writer choose to dedicate a big chunk of her life and energy to writing about another writer?
Here's Schenkar's conclusion:
For at some point during my long, excruciating, rivetingly interesting relationship with this dead writer, we had somehow agreed to collaborate in rendering the trespasses of her life and the extremities of her work. By now, enough of her identity has leaked through the porous borders of her writing to perfuse my own, and I’ve been issued a passport to Highsmith Country that can never be revoked.
You might say—she would certainly say it—that Patricia Highsmith and I have become partners in crime.
I don't do biography, but what I do is so focused on three authors--Alejo Carpentier, James Weldon Johnson, and James Joyce--that I understood the feeling. And so I scoured the PCL for both Schenkar's book and Highsmith's fiction. But then I didn't get time to read any of it. Still, this post was great.