Joan Schenkar, Biographer of Patricia Highsmith, Dies at 78

Ms. Schenkar was also known for experimental plays. In one, a reimagining of the Red Riding Hood story, Grandma was a butcher.

By Neil Genzlinger

Joan Schenkar, who started her career as a playwright but switched to biography, producing an especially well-regarded take on a complex literary figure in 2009 with her book “The Talented Miss Highsmith: The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith,” died on May 5 in Paris. She was 78.

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