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Creator / Donna Tartt

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Donna Tartt (born December 23, 1963) is a Pulitzer-Prize winning American Neo-Romanticist author of upper middle class Southern background who, after attending Bennington College in the 1980s, was hailed as an influential late-comer in the "Literary Brat Pack," a group that also includes Bret Easton Ellis and Jonathan Lethem.

In interviews, Tartt has stated that she is Catholic and celibate. Her public appearances involve a sleek, dark and androgynous tailored wardrobe that would not look out of place in the ad pages of Vanity Fair magazine. Tartt's novels are devoted to the themes of guilt and beauty, and focus heavily on the tumultuous thoughts and feelings of her protagonists. It might not be inaccurate to call her literary fiction's equivalent of The Smiths.


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Works

  • The Secret History (1992): The novel follows the adventures of a few upper class Classics students who inadvertently commit manslaughter and try to hide the details from their new acquaintance, the story's lower middle class narrator who idolizes their culture and lifestyle.
  • The Little Friend (2002): Insufferable Genius Harriet tries to solve the mysterious death of her 9-year-old brother some 12 years after the fact.
  • The Goldfinch (2013): The novel tracks the travails of Theo Decker from adolescence into early adulthood as he struggles to come to terms with a traumatic event that killed his mother, introduced him to his true love, and led him to steal a priceless painting. Won a Pulitzer Prize and received a film adaptation in 2019.


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Tropes

  • Reclusive Artist: She gives few interviews. She's not on social media.
    2021 interview: In the mid 2000s, I was in India and everyone was talking about social media. It was the first I'd heard of it — it was so long ago that MySpace was the thing — and it sounded interesting. But Becky Swift, writer Margaret Drabble's daughter, who was at my table during a dinner, said to me: "Donna, you must not do this, trust me when I say you must never, ever get involved in social media, it dumbs down everything, it will cut into your writing and reading time in ways you can't imagine. Promise me you'll never touch it." And I never have. Becky died far too young, and I wonder if she realized quite what a gift she gave me across the table that night.


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