Donna Tartt

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Donna Tartt
Born (1963-12-23) December 23, 1963 (age 56)
Greenwood, Mississippi, U.S.
OccupationFiction writer
Alma materBennington College
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)
Tartt romane.jpg
The speaking voice of Donna Tartt, from the BBC programme Front Row.

Donna Tartt (born December 23, 1963) is an American author. Tartt's novels include The Secret History (1992), The Little Friend (2002), and The Goldfinch (2013).[1] Tartt won the WH Smith Literary Award for The Little Friend in 2003 and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for The Goldfinch in 2014.[2] She was included in Time magazine's 2014 "100 Most Influential People" list.[3]

Life and career[edit]

Tartt was born in Greenwood, Mississippi located in the Mississippi Delta, and raised in the nearby town of Grenada. Her father, Don Tartt, was a successful local politician, while her mother, Taylor, was a secretary. At age thirteen, Tartt was published for the first time when a sonnet was included in a Mississippi literary review.[4]

Tartt enrolled in the University of Mississippi in 1981, where 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 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."[5]

Following the suggestion of Morris and others, she transferred to Bennington College in 1982. At Bennington, Tartt studied classics with Claude Fredericks.

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

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 " is vital in the process of making my work and in the reasons I am driven to make it".[7] 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".[7][8]



Short stories
  • "Tam-O'-Shanter", The New Yorker, April 19, 1993, pp. 90–91[17]
  • "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
  • "Sleepytown: A Southern Gothic Childhood, with Codeine", Harper’s 285.1706, July 1992, pp. 60–66
  • "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
  • The Secret History
  • The Little Friend (abridgement)
  • True Grit (with an afterword expressing her love of the novel)
  • Winesburg, Ohio (selection)


  1. ^ Bloomgarden-Smoke, Kara (February 12, 2013). "Donna Tartts Long Awaited Third Novel Will Be Published This Year". New York Observer. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  2. ^ "The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt (Little, Brown)". Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  3. ^ Patchett, Ann. "Donna Tartt".
  4. ^ Kaplan, James (June 2014). "Smart Tartt: Introducing Donna Tartt". Vanity Fair. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  5. ^ Galbraith, Lacey (Winter 2004). "Interview: Barry Hannah, The Art of Fiction". Paris Review, no. 184. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  6. ^ "Whatever Happened to Donna Tartt?". Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  7. ^ a b "Donna Tartt's Goldfinch | William Doino Jr". First Things. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  8. ^ "Introducing Donna Tartt". Vanity Fair. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  9. ^ Reach, Kirsten (January 14, 2014). "NBCC Finalists Announced". Melville House. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  10. ^ "Announcing the National Book Critics Awards Finalists for Publishing Year 2013". National Book Critics Circle. January 14, 2014. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  11. ^ Brown, Mark (April 7, 2014). "Donna Tartt Heads Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2014 Shortlist". The Guardian. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
  12. ^ "The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt (Little, Brown)". Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  13. ^ "Donna Tartt: The World's 100 Most Influential People". Time. April 23, 2014.
  14. ^ "Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction & Nonfiction | Awards & Grants". Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  15. ^ fashion, Guardian (August 7, 2014). "Vanity Fair's best-dressed list: Donna Tartt's life-long style". the Guardian. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  16. ^ "Donna Tartt: "Renzi? Guardate gli occhi di sua moglie" -". (in Italian). Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  17. ^ Tartt, Donna (April 19, 1993). "Fiction: Tam-O'-Shanter" (abstract). The New Yorker. Retrieved January 14, 2008.


External links[edit]