Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch,” already among the most popular and celebrated novels of the past year, has won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
Tartt was born in Greenwood, Miss., in the Mississippi Delta, and raised in the nearby town of Grenada.
Enrolling in Ole Miss in 1981, she pledged to the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma. 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.
Tartt’s novel, a sweeping, Dickensian tale about a young orphan set in modern Manhattan, was published last fall to high praise and quick commercial success that has not relented. “The Goldfinch” has been nominated for a National Book Critics Circle prize and an Andrew Carnegie Medal and on Monday was in the top 40 on Amazon.com’s best seller list even before the Pulitzer was announced.
Fans of the 50-year-old Mississippi native, many of whom still had strong memories of her 1992 debut, “The Secret History,” had waited a decade for her to complete her third novel. “The Goldfinch” was published after the disappointing “The Little Friend.” The Pulitzer will likely ensure her place among the elite of contemporary fiction writers and make “The Goldfinch” a million seller.
Courtesy of AP and Wikipedia.