Ms. Highsmith was an artist in every sense of the word, and through her own thoughts and explanations of the subject, the reader gets to know her own singular artistic sentiments and temperament. What a wonderful time it would have been to sit with her during a meal, although TFA suspects she would have found him boring.
The writer of the Mr. Ripley sagas gives readers much outdated information about agents and publishers and contracts, although perhaps hanging onto your film and foreign publishing rights will always be a good idea for writers. Most important to TFA were the passages on art and how an artist should live her/his life. Few artists will ever be rich and famous, Ms. Highsmith says, so it's best to focus on the art itself.