December 23, 1963 |
|Notable works||The Secret History (1992)
The Little Friend (2002)
The Goldfinch (2013)
|Notable awards||WH Smith Literary Award (2003)
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (2014)
Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction (2014)
Donna Tartt (born December 23, 1963) is an American writer and author of the novels The Secret History (1992), The Little Friend (2002), and The Goldfinch (2013). Tartt won the WH Smith Literary Award for The Little Friend in 2003 and the Pulitzer Prize (Fiction) for The Goldfinch in 2014 and she was named in the TIME 100: The 100 Most Influential People in 2014.
Life and career
She enrolled in the University of Mississippi in 1981, and her writing caught the attention of Willie Morris while she was a freshman. Following a recommendation from Morris, Barry Hannah, then an Ole Miss Writer-in-Residence, admitted eighteen-year-old Tartt into his graduate short story course. "She was deeply literary," says Hannah. "Just a rare genius, really. A literary star." Following the suggestion of Morris and others, she transferred to Bennington College in 1982, where she was friends with fellow students Bret Easton Ellis, Jill Eisenstadt, and Jonathan Lethem, and studying classics with Claude Fredericks. She dated Ellis for a while after sharing works in progress, The Secret History and Less Than Zero respectively.
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 re-imagined and re-written by contemporary authors. In 2006, Tartt's short story "The Ambush" was named to The Best American Short Stories 2006.
Tartt is Roman Catholic.
Style and literary themes
Tartt has largely written in neo-romanticism-inflected prose that borrows heavily from the stylings of 19th century literature. This prose style is relatively uncommon in contemporary American literary fiction, particularly given a present tendency by fiction writers and literary critics to favor a more brief and to-the-point prose style. This prose style also stands in stark contrast to her former classmate Bret Easton Ellis' curt, 20th century-inspired minimalist style in Less Than Zero, which incorporates a similar setting and has some overlap in character types and themes.
- 2003 WH Smith Literary Award – The Little Friend
- 2003 Orange Prize for Fiction shortlist – The Little Friend
- 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award (Fiction) shortlist – The Goldfinch
- 2014 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction shortlist – The Goldfinch
- 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction – The Goldfinch
- 2014 TIME 100 The 100 Most Influential People
- 2014 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence for Fiction – The Goldfinch
- Vanity Fair International Best Dressed List, 2014
- 2014 Malaparte Prize (Italy) – The Goldfinch
- The Secret History (1992, Alfred A. Knopf)
- The Little Friend (2002, Alfred A. Knopf)
- The Goldfinch (2013, Little, Brown and Company)
- Short stories
- “Tam-O'-Shanter”. The New Yorker April 19, 1993, p. 90.
- “A Christmas Pageant”. Harper’s 287.1723. December 1993, pp. 45+.
- “A Garter Snake”. GQ 65.5, May 1995, pp. 89+.
- “The Ambush”. The Guardian, June 25, 2005.
- “Sleepytown: A Southern Gothic Childhood, with Codeine.” Harper’s 286, July 1992, pp. 60–66.
- “Basketball Season.” 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, April 1994, pp. 37–40.
- The Secret History
- The Little Friend (abridgment)
- True Grit (with afterword expressing her love of the novel)
- Winesburg, Ohio (selection)
- Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke (12 February 2013). "Donna Tartts long awaited third novel will be published this year". The New York Observer. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- Donna Tartt by Ann Patchett
- Lacey Galbraith (Winter 2004). "Interview: Barry Hannah, The Art of Fiction No 184". The Paris Review. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- "''Independent'': "Whatever happened to Donna Tartt?"". Arlindo-correia.org. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
- Kirsten Reach (January 14, 2014). "NBCC finalists announced". Melville House Publishing. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- "Announcing the National Book Critics Awards Finalists for Publishing Year 2013". National Book Critics Circle. January 14, 2014. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- Mark Brown (7 April 2014). "Donna Tartt heads Baileys women's prize for fiction 2014 shortlist". The Guardian. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
- "Donna Tartt: The World's 100 Most Influential People". Time. April 23, 2014.
- Tartt, Donna (1993-04-19). "Fiction: Tam-O'-Shanter" (abstract). The New Yorker. Retrieved 2008-01-14.
- Tracy Hargreaves, Donna Tartt's "The Secret History", New York and London: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2001 ISBN 0-8264-5320-1
- Adrian McOran-Campbell, The Secret History (August 2000)
- Danny Yee, "Studying Ancient Greek Warps the Mind of the Young?" (January 4, 1994)
- Tartt, Donna, Playboy Magazine, "Lolita, 50 Years Later" (December 2005)
- Kakutani, Michiko, The New York Times, "Students Indulging in Course of Destruction" (September 4, 1992)
- Kaplan, James, Vanity Fair, "Smart Tartt" (September 1992)
- Tartt, Donna, The Oxford American, "Spanish Grandeur in Mississippi" (Fall 2000)
- Donna Tartt interviewed by Robert Birnbaum at identitytheory.com
- Interview with Jill Eisenstadt in BOMB
- Tartt on reading and her Scottish grandmother
- Tartt in Vogue on her teenage worship of Hunter S. Thompson
- NPR: Talk of the Nation: Donna Tartt interviewed by Lynn Neary (November 5, 2002)
- NPR: Talk of the Nation: Donna Tartt and Anne Rice interviewed by Ray Suarez (October 30, 1997)
- Donna Tartt at BBC Radio 4 – Bookclub interviewed by James Naughtie (January 5, 2014)
- The Guardian's 10 Best Dressed People of 2013