Donna Tartt

Donna Tartt

American writer
Date of Birth: 23.12.1963
Country: USA

Biography of Donna Tartt
Donna Louise Tartt, an American writer, was born on December 23, 1963, in Greenwood, Mississippi. Her parents, Don and Taylor Tartt, later moved to Grenada, another city in the state. Tartt's literary talent emerged at a young age - she wrote her first poem at the age of five, and by thirteen, her poems were published in the Mississippi Literary Review. Her inclination towards literature influenced her career choice, and in 1981, Tartt began studying classical philology at the University of Mississippi. She was an active participant in student societies, including the renowned sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and wrote extensively.

Donna Tartt

Tartt's literary experiments caught the attention of her professors, who recognized her exceptional talent and advised her to pursue a career in writing. In 1982, Tartt transferred to Bennington College in Vermont, known for nurturing "free artists." It was here that she became friends with future celebrities like Bret Easton Ellis and Jill Eisenstadt, and these friendships have endured to this day.

Donna Tartt

In 1984, during her second year at college, Tartt started writing her novel. The setting of the novel mirrored her own reality - college, students studying ancient culture, and a close-knit circle of affluent, intellectual, and carefree friends. However, the idyllic picture shattered when they decided to reenact an ancient Dionysian ritual, which ended in murder. Under Tartt's pen, the plot acquired not only a detective tone but also a sacred hue. Initially titled "The God of Illusions," the book eventually received the seemingly unassuming title "The Secret History." This title, like the original title "Historia Arcana," refers to an outstanding historical work that describes tragic events in the Byzantine Empire, which strangely intertwine with the lives of modern-day college students. Beneath the surface simplicity of the title, the novel reveals layers of history and psychology. It can be read as a detective story, a psychological novel, and a blend of historical and literary essays. Its primary focus, however, lies in dissecting the human soul and analyzing its destruction by irresponsibility, selfishness, and pride.

Donna Tartt

The work on the book took a considerable amount of time, and "The Secret History" was only published in 1992, causing a sensation. The novel sold immensely, reaching 75,000 copies and making it onto the bestseller list. Literary critics, intellectuals, and ordinary readers discussed the book, noting that they had never encountered anything like it before. According to Tartt herself, the writing process for her is akin to a sea voyage or polar expedition - it consumes her entirely and lasts for a long time.

Tartt's second novel, "The Little Friend," was published in 2002. Although it did not achieve the same triumph as its predecessor, it also became a bestseller, and Tartt was awarded the WH Smith Literary Award. Like "The Secret History," the novel is set in the familiar atmosphere of the American South at the end of the previous century. Its central theme, as in Tartt's previous work, is death - this time, the death of a twelve-year-old boy found hanging from a tree after a festival. The story follows the efforts of his sister, who seeks to uncover this secret many years later. The masterfully depicted small-town atmosphere, well-developed characters, mysteries, and incredible plot twists, along with the extraordinary protagonist, allow the book to be perceived as both an action-packed novel and a reflection on maturity, loneliness, and a philosophical essay on the battle between good and evil.

Tartt's third and most recent novel, "The Goldfinch," was published in 2013 and has yet to be translated into Russian. The novel's plot, like the previous two, centers around a tragic death - this time, the protagonist's mother. During a visit to a museum, an explosion occurs, leaving the boy an orphan and the possessor of a priceless painting. The novel's content includes adventure, literary allusions to world literature and global political events, and reflections on the relationship between the past and the future, fate, and luck. Critics have already hailed "The Goldfinch" as the most remarkable work of the year, but it is evident that this novel is still awaiting more detailed analysis from both critics and writers.

Donna Tartt is known for her reluctance to give interviews. At over fifty years old, she is slender and petite, often seen wearing strict black suits with white blouses, complemented by vibrant Indian shawls. Tartt has never been married and states that solitude is necessary for her creative process.

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