The Glass Cell: A Virago Modern Classic

Patricia Highsmith

Published on: 06/11/2014

Genre: , , ,

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. Based on a true story, The Glass Cell is Highsmith’s deeply disturbing fictionalisation of everything she learned.

For six years Philip Carter suffered for a crime he did not commit.

Brutalised by prison guards who strung him up by his thumbs, he had become addicted to morphine.

Release was no release. He suspected his wife of having an affair with his lawyer…

Now, Carter was ready to kill.


Praise for Patricia Highsmith:

‘The No.1 Greatest Crime Writer’ — The Times

‘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.’ — A. N. Wilson, 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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About the author:

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 […]

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