The Silence of the Lambs author Thomas Harris, overshadowed by the cannibal he invented, has kept a low profile for over 40 years. Alexandra Alter of The New York Times reports.

Thomas Harris, the creator of one of literature's most terrifying monsters, arguably has one of the darkest imaginations of any writer working today. His infamous serial killer, Hannibal Lecter, devours his victims' organs after delicately preparing them and once ate a man alive, serving slices of his brain with truffles and caper berries.

So it's somewhat unnerving to hear Harris insist that he doesn't invent anything.

"I don't think