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 to the TIME 100: The 100 Most Influential People in 2014.
Tartt was born in Greenwood, Mississippi, in the Mississippi Delta, and raised in the nearby town of Grenada.
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.
As of 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.
A number of major recurring literary themes occur in Tartt’s novels. These include the themes of social class and social stratification, guilt, and aesthetic beauty.
Donna Tartt – The Secret History (read by Donna Tartt)
Donna Tartt – The Little Friend (read by Pat Starr)
Donna Tartt – The Goldfinch (read by David Pittu)