Mary P.

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

Mary Patricia was born in Fort Worth, Texas back in 1921 to Jay and Mary. Her parents divorced just 10 days prior to her birth. Mary moved to New York with her mother however, at 12 she was sent to live with her grandmother for a year. This put a strain on the already rocky relationship.

According to Mary her mother once told her she had tried to abort her by drinking turpentine. This love-hate relationship continued to haunt her for the rest of her life. Mary’s grandmother taught her to read and write at an early age.

In 1942 Mary graduated from Barnard College majoring in English composition. She endured cycles of depression which threw her into drinking and smoking excessively. One wrote of her as being “mean, cruel, hard, unlovable, unloving human being. Once during a cocktail party, she showed up with a head of lettuce and a hundred snails proclaiming they were her “companions for the evening”.

She had several affairs although she never married she preferred women over men. She was a consummate atheist. She died in 1995 at 74. Now for the rest of the story. I’m writing about Mary Patricia Plangman hmm, name doesn’t ring a bell? Okay let’s try Patricia Highsmith. She wrote 22 novels, her first one was made into a film by Alfred Hitchcock “Strangers on a Train”. So Kathy did you know this famous Texan?


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Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi James... did not know this lady under any of her names (then again, I'm not a Texan)... but was fascinated by your story of her history.

Jan 23, 2017 04:49 AM #1
faye schubert
Branson, MO
Living the Branson Lake Life

Wow! A mother that doesn't love her child set her on a tumultous life of despair. It's hard to see the literary accomplishment for the one thing that matters most: being loved and the ability to love.

Jan 23, 2017 04:51 AM #2
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

It seems so many with a split home have so many problems.

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Jan 23, 2017 04:59 AM #3
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning again James. Oh what a sad and unnerving post about a very unhappy woman.

Jan 23, 2017 05:18 AM #4
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Geneva Financial, Llc. - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

James Dray I was thinking Mary Shelly as I read this biography, but you caught me this morning!

Jan 23, 2017 05:36 AM #5
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Thanks James.  I must confess to my ignorance of this lady, though I do know a few of her works.

Jan 23, 2017 05:38 AM #6
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. Again, as usual, stumped by the name! Enjoy your name!

Jan 23, 2017 05:47 AM #7
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

That was a jarring transition from a troubled woman to an accomplished author. 

Jan 23, 2017 05:49 AM #8
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

James Dray  very interesting woman and accomplished author

Jan 23, 2017 06:31 AM #9
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi James Dray - It is amazing the life paths that people go down and how they were brought up. I wonder how Mary's upbringing affected her ability to write engaging novels? 

Jan 23, 2017 07:58 AM #10
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

This is the first time that I have heard of this woman, but I am not much of a reader of books.

Jan 23, 2017 07:59 AM #11
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Sounds like the turpentine had a long term effect on Mary.  Sad but, at least, she did use her dark side for some constructive purpose... if you consider horror constructive.  At least it kept her busy.  LOL  Thanks for this little tidbit, James.

Jan 23, 2017 08:53 AM #12
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Loved the movie, had no idea about the author.  Happy Monday.  A

Jan 23, 2017 10:45 AM #13
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

James- ok, once again you've stumped this Texan.  What a sad life she lived.  

Jan 23, 2017 04:54 PM #14
Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

Interesting piece James. I enjoy Alfred Hitchcock and he must have really been inspired to do Strangers on a Train.

Jan 23, 2017 07:48 PM #15
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

It's too bad she had such a sad life. For some writers a tough life seems to be a common theme. 

Jan 24, 2017 01:21 PM #16
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

I do recall seeing the movie, Strangers on a Train.  Very tantalizing, as I recall. Wow! Can just imagine what her story lines were in her 22 novels.  Seems that Patricia Highsmith is someone interesting enough to investigate further.

Jan 24, 2017 06:42 PM #17
Dave Martin (703) 585-4687
Fairfax Realty - Fairfax, VA
Making Realty Dreams a Reality #WeWillGetYouHome

Thanks so much for sharing the post I hope you are enjoying a warm up in weather as we are here. Keep up the good posting.

Jan 10, 2018 05:49 PM #18
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