Donna Tartt

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Donna Tartt
Wes Anderson, Donna Tartt and Antonio Monda at the 2015 Rome Film Festival.
Wes Anderson, Donna Tartt and Antonio Monda at the 2015 Rome Film Festival.
Born (1963-12-23) December 23, 1963 (age 57)
Greenwood, Mississippi, U.S.
OccupationFiction writer
NationalityAmerican
Alma materBennington College
Period1992–present
Literary movementNeo-romanticism
Notable worksThe Secret History (1992)
The Little Friend (2002)
The Goldfinch (2013)
Notable awardsWH Smith Literary Award (2003)
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (2014)
Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction (2014)
Donna Tartt's three novels in German, published by Goldmann.

Donna Louise Tartt (born December 23, 1963)[2] is an American author. Tartt's novels are The Secret History (1992), The Little Friend (2002), and The Goldfinch (2013).[3] Tartt won the WH Smith Literary Award for The Little Friend in 2003 and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for The Goldfinch in 2014.[4] She was included in Time magazine's 2014 "100 Most Influential People" list.[5]

Early life[edit]

Tartt was born, the elder of two daughters, in Greenwood, Mississippi, in the Mississippi Delta, and raised in the nearby town of Grenada. Her father, Don Tartt, was a rockabilly musician,[6] turned freeway[7] "service station owner-cum-local politician",[8] while her mother, Taylor, was a secretary. Her parents were avid readers, and her mother would read while driving.[9]

“I know a ton of poetry by heart, When I was a little kid, first thing I memorized were really long poems by A. A. Milne... I also know all these things that I was made to learn. I’m sort of this horrible repository of doggerel verse.”[7]

In 1968, aged five, Tartt wrote her first poem.[10]

In 1976, aged thirteen, Tartt was published for the first time when a sonnet was included in The Mississippi Review.[7][11]

In high school, Tartt was a freshman cheerleader for the basketball team and worked in the public library.[8][12][13]

In 1981, Tartt enrolled in the University of Mississippi where her writing caught the attention of Willie Morris while she was a freshman. Finding her in the Holiday Inn bar one evening, Morris said to her, “My name is Willie Morris, and I think you’re a genius.” [10][14][15][16][17]

Following a recommendation from Morris, Barry Hannah, then an Ole Miss writer-in-residence, admitted the eighteen-year-old Tartt into his graduate course on the short story. "She was deeply literary," said Hannah. "Just a rare genius, really. A literary star."[18]

In 1982, following the suggestion of Morris and others, she transferred to Bennington College. At Bennington, Tartt studied classics with Claude Fredericks, and also met Bret Easton Ellis, Jonathan Lethem, and Jill Eisenstadt,[19][2] graduating in 1986.[20]

Career[edit]

Tartt published her first novel, The Secret History in 1992.[21][22] Amanda Urban as her agent, the novel became a marketing,[23] critical, and lucrative achievement.[24] Many considered Tartt a precocious literary genius, as she was just 29 years old, and setting high expectations for what she would publish next.[25]

In 2002, Tartt was reportedly working on a retelling of the myth of Daedalus and Icarus for the Canongate Myth Series, a series of novellas in which ancient myths are reimagined and rewritten by contemporary authors.[26]

In 2002, Tartt's novel The Little Friend appeared first, in Dutch, in Netherlands bookshops in the September, since more, per-capita, of her previous book was sold there than any other market.[27][28][29][30][31]

In 2006, Tartt's short story "The Ambush" was included in the Best American Short Stories 2006.[32]

Her 2013 novel The Goldfinch stirred reviewers as to whether it was a literary novel, a controversy possibly based on its best-selling status.[25][33][34]

Tartt is a convert to Catholicism and contributed an essay, "The spirit and writing in a secular world", to The Novel, Spirituality and Modern Culture (2000). In her essay Tartt wrote that "...faith is vital in the process of making my work and in the reasons I am driven to make it".[35] However, Tartt also warned of the danger of writers who impose their beliefs or convictions on their novels. She wrote that writers should "shy from asserting those convictions directly in their work".[35][7]

She has spent about ten years writing each of her novels.[25][36][37]

Personal life[edit]

Tartt is 5 feet tall.[8] She has said "Je ne vais jamais me marier."[38][39] She has lived in Greenwich Village, the Upper East Side,[40] and on a farm near Charlottesville, Virginia[41] Tartt is notably private,[42] and does not give talks at book festivals. She has stated that she participates in book tours no more than once every ten years. She has, however, also stated that her day-to-day life is not that of a recluse, and that she spends much of her time writing.[36] Tartt talks on the phone, every day, with her mother, but has not had contact with her father since 1982.[40]

Awards[edit]

fashion inspirations: Louise Brooks and Harold Chasen[49][50]
  • 2014 Malaparte Prize (Italy) – The Goldfinch[51]

Bibliography[edit]

Novels
Short stories
  • "Tam-O'-Shanter", The New Yorker, April 19, 1993, pp. 90–91[52]
  • "A Christmas Pageant", Harper’s 287.1723, December 1993, pp. 45–51
  • "A Garter Snake", GQ 65.5, May 1995, pp. 89ff
  • "The Ambush", The Guardian, June 25, 2005
Nonfiction
Tartt's great-grandfather gave the five-year-old, for tonsillitis, whiskey, and codeine cough syrup, for two years, when kept home due to tonsillitis, she would read and write poetry.[53]
  • "Basketball Season" in The Best American Sports Writing, edited and with an introduction by Frank Deford, Houghton Mifflin, 1993
  • "Team Spirit: Memories of Being a Freshman Cheerleader for the Basketball Team", Harper’s 288.1727, April 1994, pp. 37–40
  • "My friend, my mentor, my inspiration". in Remembering Willie. University Press of Mississippi. 2000. ISBN 978-1-57806-267-6. This book of memorials collects twenty-seven eulogies and tributes.
Film adaptations
Audiobooks
  • The Secret History
  • The Little Friend (abridgement)
  • True Grit (with an afterword expressing her love of the novel)
  • Winesburg, Ohio (selection)

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Donna Tartt". Front Row. November 4, 2013. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved November 4, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Kuiper, Kathleen (December 19, 2020). "Donna Tartt". Encyclopedia Britannica. Donna Tartt, (born December 23, 1963
  3. ^ Bloomgarden-Smoke, Kara (February 12, 2013). "Donna Tartts Long Awaited Third Novel Will Be Published This Year". New York Observer. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  4. ^ "The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt (Little, Brown)". www.pulitzer.org. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  5. ^ Patchett, Ann. "Donna Tartt".
  6. ^ Brown, Mick (December 26, 2013). "The Goldfinch author Donna Tartt: 'If I'm not working, I'm not happy'". gulfnews.com. Retrieved January 31, 2021. Her father Don was a wild card — an erstwhile rockabilly musician turned politician; her mother, a Southern belle, who Tartt says was “not particularly interested” in small children. Tartt and her sister spent much of their childhood running in and out of the houses of elderly aunts and grandparents.
  7. ^ a b c d e Kaplan, James (September 1992). "Smart Tartt: Introducing Donna Tartt". Vanity Fair. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c Ybarra, Michael J. (December 8, 2002). "Famous and yet unknown". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 31, 2021. Tartt worked in the public library as a high school student
  9. ^ "Your guide to mysterious literary genius Donna Tartt". Dazed. November 14, 2017. Retrieved January 31, 2021. Her father, Don, and mother, Taylor, were both bookworms
  10. ^ a b "Donna Tartt (1963- )". Mississippi Writers Page. English Department, University of Mississippi. November 9, 2015. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  11. ^ "The Mississippi Literary Review. (University of Mississippi) Volume I, Number 1, November, 1941 - first and only issue". PB Auction Galleries, Inc. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  12. ^ "Elizabeth Jones Library". librarytechnology.org. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  13. ^ "Elizabeth Jones Library". Elizabeth Jones Library. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  14. ^ Tartt, Donna. "My friend, my mentor, my inspiration". Remembering Willie. University Press of Mississippi. Retrieved January 31, 2021. Would you like a Coca-Cola, young lady?" he asked me on that first night, interrupting himself in the middle of a story, when his old pal, Clyde, the bartender came around to take our order at the bar of the Holiday Inn. "No, sir, I believe I'll have what you're drinking...
  15. ^ "Donna Tartt | Page 6 of 6 | Books | The Guardian". the Guardian. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  16. ^ Ross, Peter Ross (November 2002). "Donna Tartt". Sunday Herald. Retrieved January 31, 2021. She sent some short stories to the local paper. A journalist passed them on to Willie Morris, an influential member of the literati and writer-in-residence at Ole Miss. He tracked her down at the bar of the Holiday Inn. ”Are you Donna Tartt?” Yes, she was. ”My name is Willie Morris, and I think you’re a genius.”
  17. ^ Oxford, Mississippi#Media
  18. ^ Galbraith, Lacey (Winter 2004). "Interview: Barry Hannah, The Art of Fiction". Paris Review, no. 184. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  19. ^ Anolik, Lili (May 28, 2019). "Money, Madness, Cocaine and Literary Genius: An Oral History of the 1980s' Most Decadent College". Esquire. I think I got in on a short story I sent in. Nobody I know would have been there if they had required SAT scores.
  20. ^ McCaffrey, Caitlin; Bennington College. "Donna Tartt, '86, photograph, circa 1992". 75 Years of Pioneering Innovation. Issuu. p. 67. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  21. ^ Steinz, Pieter (March 14, 1993). "Donna Tartt on The Secret History". The John Adams Institute. John Adams Institute. Retrieved January 31, 2021. On March 14, 1993 American author Donna Tartt visited the John Adams Institute to speak about her bestselling novel 'The Secret History', which has been translated into 24 languages. Pieter Steinz moderated the evening.
  22. ^ "Donna Tartt interview (1992)". YouTube. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  23. ^ Fein, Esther B. (November 16, 1992). "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; The Marketing of a Cause Celebre (Published 1992)". The New York Times. Retrieved January 31, 2021. several months on a host of best-seller lists established "The Secret History" as a true commercial and critical success.
  24. ^ "Donna Tartt (1963- )". Mississippi Writers Page. Ole Miss. Archived from the original on October 3, 1999. Retrieved January 31, 2021. The novel remained on the Publishers Weekly bestseller list for thirteen weeks, reaching as high as number two.
  25. ^ a b c Peretz, Evgenia (June 11, 2014). "It's Tartt—But Is It Art?". Vanity Fair. Retrieved July 18, 2020.
  26. ^ "Whatever Happened to Donna Tartt?". Arlindo-correia.org. October 2002. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  27. ^ Buchsbaum, Tony. "Review | The Little Friend by Donna Tartt". january magazine. Retrieved February 1, 2021. the Netherlands (where Tartt is something of a literary god)
  28. ^ Lin, Francie (November 10, 2002). "Her brother's keeper". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 1, 2021. (The Secret History)...Since its publication in 1992, it has spawned an international coterie of readers so devoted to Tartt that in July, Britain’s Observer reported rumors of a black market for English translations of “The Little Friend” in the Netherlands, where the book received early publication in Dutch.
  29. ^ Thorpe, Vanessa (July 28, 2002). "The secret history of Donna Tartt's new novel". the Guardian. Retrieved February 1, 2021. The haunting 800-page saga, sold to the British publisher Bloomsbury for just under £1 million, is due to appear first in bookshops in the Netherlands in September. As word of this filters out to fans over the internet, secret plans are being laid to ship out early Dutch copies as collectors' items, and to arrange for high-speed translations into English. The level of interest may even lead to a short-lived black market.
  30. ^ Mabe, Chauncey (November 10, 2002). "Tartt, A Dutch Treat, Stirs A Storm At Home". Sun-Sentinel. Archived from the original on February 1, 2021. Retrieved February 1, 2021. If you think Donna Tartt is getting a rush of media attention in this country, you should visit Holland. The Dutch are mad about Tartt, author of the 1992 publishing sensation The Secret History. Her second novel, The Little Friend, sold 150,000 copies in its first week there. She is the Jerry Lewis of the Netherlands.
  31. ^ Patterson, Troy (November 1, 2002). "The Little Friend". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 1, 2021. Donna Tartt’s second novel is the most eagerly anticipated book of the year.
  32. ^ "The Best American Short Stories 2006". Kirkus Reviews. August 15, 2006. Retrieved July 18, 2020.
  33. ^ Kakutani, Michiko (October 7, 2013). "A Painting as Talisman, as Enduring as Loved Ones Are Not". The New York Times.
  34. ^ Wood, James (October 14, 2013). "The New Curiosity Shop". The New Yorker. Retrieved January 31, 2021. Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch.”
  35. ^ a b Doino Jr., William (December 9, 2013). "Donna Tartt's Goldfinch". First Things. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  36. ^ a b "Interview: The very, very private life of Ms Donna Tartt". The Irish Independent. November 24, 2013. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  37. ^ "Interview: The very, very private life of Ms Donna Tartt". independent. November 24, 2013. Retrieved January 31, 2021. She writes by hand, making notes in red and blue pencil, stapling note cards to the pages and when the notebooks start to fall apart she prints out drafts, and each new draft is printed on a corresponding shade of paper.
  38. ^ I will never get married.
  39. ^ Viner, Katharine (October 19, 2002). "Interview: Donna Tartt". the Guardian. Retrieved January 31, 2021. her fascinating pronouncements ("My life is like Candide" or "I'm the exact same size as Lolita" ["ninety pounds is all she weighs/with a height of sixty inches"]), her chaste aura of another era ("Je ne vais jamais me marier," she once said, winsomely).
  40. ^ a b Cryer, Dan (November 4, 2002). "Her Own Twist / Donna Tartt says she writes the kind of old-fashioned novels that suit her taste. Luckily, other people seem to like them, too". Newsday. Retrieved January 31, 2021. In fact, her publisher is pulling out all the stops, even providing her with a makeup artist for photo sessions - an almost unheard of rarity on the book promotion circuit. We meet not far from her Upper East Side apartment (she also owns a country place in Virginia).
  41. ^ "A most complex Lolita". The Sydney Morning Herald. November 2, 2002. Retrieved January 31, 2021. was a cheerleader for her high school basketball team
  42. ^ Greenstreet, Rosanna (October 26, 2013). "Q&A: Donna Tartt". The Guardian. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  43. ^ "Announcing the National Book Critics Awards Finalists for Publishing Year 2013". National Book Critics Circle. January 14, 2014. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  44. ^ Brown, Mark (April 7, 2014). "Donna Tartt Heads Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2014 Shortlist". The Guardian. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
  45. ^ "The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt (Little, Brown)". www.pulitzer.org. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  46. ^ "Donna Tartt: The World's 100 Most Influential People". Time. April 23, 2014.
  47. ^ "Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction & Nonfiction | Awards & Grants". www.ala.org. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  48. ^ "Vanity Fair's best-dressed list: Donna Tartt's life-long style". The Guardian. August 7, 2014. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  49. ^ Kellogg, Carolyn (August 6, 2014). "Donna Tartt makes Vanity Fair's best-dressed list". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 31, 2021. Who are her fashion icons? Louise Brooks and Harold from “Harold and Maude,” both of whom also had distinctive hairstyles.
  50. ^ Rodriguez, Leah (August 6, 2014). "Donna Tartt's Menswear-Inspired Style: A Primer". The Cut. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  51. ^ "Donna Tartt: "Renzi? Guardate gli occhi di sua moglie" – VanityFair.it". VanityFair.it (in Italian). Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  52. ^ Tartt, Donna (April 19, 1993). "Fiction: Tam-O'-Shanter" (abstract). The New Yorker. Retrieved January 14, 2008.
  53. ^ Williams, Cameron (January 11, 2012). "Profile: Donna Tartt". Southern Literary Review. Retrieved January 31, 2021.

External links[edit]