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Donna Tartt - Muses & The Beau Monde

Donna Tartt, born 23 December 1963 in Greenwood, Mississippi, is an American author.


"Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it."

- Donna Tartt, The Secret History


I came across a page of a book shared in an Instagram story describing a group of characters that were detailed so beautifully that I typed the page out by hand and searched the words until I found the book. It was 'The Secret History' by Donna Tartt. I ordered a rather battered looking copy from eBay and once I began to read it I could not put it down. I was uncommunicative for almost a week. I have never spent day after day solely reading just one book until I reached the last page only to be overcome with complete and utter devastation for it being over. The Secret History was the first.

How could an single individual have me so permanently gripped to their words? Who were they? So I read more of Tartt's work and then I went on yet another hunt and found wonderful interviews with many interesting things being said. Below is the first interview that I watched from 1992 where Tartt shares her novel 'The Secret History' and talks about her inspirations and what makes a good writer.


"When I am writing, I am concentrating almost wholly on concrete detail: the colour a room is painted, the way a drop of water rolls off a wet leaf after a rain.

- Donna Tartt


In this video Kirsty Wark interviews author Donna Tartt about her most recent book - 'The Goldfinch'.



Reading Recommendations & Content Considerations

I honestly could not recommend Donna Tartt enough, particularly 'The Secret History' which I always like to read when summer fades into autumn because the descriptions of the seasons are so vivid that you would miss whichever one you weren't in. By reading the book in an in-between stage, where it isn't distinctly one season or the another, it is considerably easier to slip into the settings of the book (apart from moments of heavy snow of course).

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