Patricia Highsmith is to Become a Virago Modern Classic

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Little, Brown Book Group is to be the main UK publisher for Patricia Highsmith, author of the iconic novels The Talented Mr Ripley and Strangers on a Train.

In a unique two-imprint deal Virago and Sphere have acquired Highsmith’s entire oeuvre in ebook and the majority of her work in print. Sphere will publish Patricia Highsmith film tie-ins, while the Virago Modern Classics will publish the complete ebook catalogue and print titles across 2014-16.

The launch will begin with the spring 2014 film release of The Two Faces of January, a classic Highsmith suspense thriller set in Greece and starring Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst. Sphere will publish the film tie-in with a foreword from director Hossein Aimini, while Virago will kick-off with VMC releases of the complete Ripley series in ebook and print editions of a number of her most acclaimed novels.

The joint deal was done by Sphere Fiction Senior Editor Ed Wood and VMC Senior Editor Donna Coonan with Swiss publisher Diogenes and will result in all of Highsmith’s novels and short stories being available in both print and ebook formats.

Coonan said: ‘The Virago Modern Classics has a proud history of publishing some of the greatest women writers of the twentieth century, and I am hugely excited to have the opportunity to include Patricia Highsmith on the list. She is a unique author who pushes genres, which is why she fits perfectly in both imprints; her writing is brave, ground-breaking and a thrilling blend of skill and invention.’

Wood said: ‘Using the combined literary and commercial strengths of Virago and Sphere, we will draw together Patricia Highsmith’s complete body of work into one coherent whole for the first time, creating a lasting legacy for this uniquely biting, gripping author while giving her maximum visibility with readers.’

Image copyright (c) Jerry Bauer


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