|Born||December 23, 1963|
Greenwood, Mississippi, U.S.
|Alma mater||Bennington College|
|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's voice from the BBC Radio 4 programme Front Row.
Donna Louise Tartt (born December 23, 1963) is an American author. Tartt's novels are 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 for Fiction for The Goldfinch in 2014. She was included in Time magazine's 2014 "100 Most Influential People" list.
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, turned freeway "service station owner-cum-local politician", while her mother, Taylor, was a secretary. Her parents were avid readers, and her mother would read while driving.
“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.”
In 1968, aged five, Tartt wrote her first poem.
In 1976, aged thirteen, Tartt was published for the first time when a sonnet was included in The Mississippi Review.
In high school, Tartt was a freshman cheerleader for the basketball team and worked in the public library.
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.” 
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."
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, graduating in 1986.
Tartt published her first novel, The Secret History in 1992. Amanda Urban as her agent, the novel became a marketing, critical, and lucrative achievement. Many considered Tartt a precocious literary genius, as she was just 29 years old, and setting high expectations for what she would publish next.
In 2002, Tartt's novel The Little Friend appeared first, in Dutch, in book shops in the Netherlands in September, since more, per-capita, of her previous book was sold there than any other market.
In 2006, Tartt's short story "The Ambush" was included in the Best American Short Stories 2006.
Her 2013 novel The Goldfinch stirred reviewers as to whether it was a literary novel, a controversy possibly based on its best-selling status. The book was adapted for the movie The Goldfinch. Tartt was reportedly paid $3m for the movie rights but parted company with her long-standing agent, Amanda Urban, over the latter's failure to secure Tartt a role in the screenplay writing or wider production. The movie was a critical and commercial failure.
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". 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".
She has spent about ten years writing each of her novels.
In 2002, it was reported that Tartt had lived in Greenwich Village, the Upper East Side, and on a farm near Charlottesville, Virginia; that she is 5ft tall and that she had said she would never get married. In 2013, she claimed that she was not a recluse while stressing the freedoms of shutting the door, closing the curtains and not participating in the life of culture. In 2016, Tartt's cousin, decorated police officer James Lee Tartt, was shot and killed in a multiple shooting while on duty.
This book of memorials collects twenty-seven eulogies and tributes.
Donna Tartt, (born December 23, 1963
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.
Tartt worked in the public library as a high school student
Her father, Don, and mother, Taylor, were both bookworms
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...
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.”
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.
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.
several months on a host of best-seller lists established "The Secret History" as a true commercial and critical success.
The novel remained on the Publishers Weekly bestseller list for thirteen weeks, reaching as high as number two.
the Netherlands (where Tartt is something of a literary god)
(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.
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.
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.
Donna Tartt’s second novel is the most eagerly anticipated book of the year.
Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch.”
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.
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).
was a cheerleader for her high school basketball team,
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).
Who are her fashion icons? Louise Brooks and Harold from “Harold and Maude,” both of whom also had distinctive hairstyles.