The Short Stories of Patricia Highsmith


Highsmith described herself as a social democrat.[54] She believed in American democratic ideals and in "the promise" of U.S. history, but was also highly critical of the reality of the country's 20th-century culture and foreign policy. Beginning in 1963, she resided exclusively in Europe.[6] She retained her United States citizenship, despite the tax penalties, of which she complained bitterly while living for many years in France and Switzerland.


Highsmith aligned herself with writers such as Gore Vidal, Alexander Cockburn, Noam Chomsky and Edward Said in supporting Palestinian self-determination.[68] As a member of Amnesty International, she felt duty-bound to express publicly her opposition to the displacement of Palestinians.[68] Highsmith prohibited her books from being published in Israel after the election of Menachem Begin as Prime Minister in 1977.[68] She dedicated her 1983 novel People Who Knock on the Door to the Palestinian people:

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To the courage of the Palestinian people and their leaders in the struggle to regain a part of their homeland. This book has nothing to do with their problem.

The inscription was dropped from the U.S. edition with permission from her agent but without consent from Highsmith.[69]

Highsmith contributed financially to the Jewish Committee on the Middle East,[68] an organization founded in 1988 that represented American Jews who wanted the United States to "dissociate ... from the policies of Israel."[70] She wrote in an August 1993 letter to Marijane Meaker: "USA could save 11 million per day if they would cut the dough to Israel. The Jewish vote is 1%."[71]

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