The Re-Emergence of Donna Tartt: Monday’s Margins

Donna Tartt Goldfinch coverThe Goldfinch, Donna Tartt’s first book in ten years, comes out Tuesday. James Wood writes: “Like the rest of us, Donna Tartt ages; but her fiction is going the other way. Her new novel…is a virtual baby: it clutches and releases the most fantastical toys. Its tone, language, and story belong to children’s literature.”

A New York Times profile of Tartt explains: “For nearly 800 pages, the book asks deep questions: whether it is possible to be good, what part love plays in our behavior and what in life is true and lasting.”

As Tartt told Identity Theory in 2002: “I like spending a long time with a project. There’s a level of richness that one gets if a whole decade is put into a book that is just not possible if you spend two or three years on it…it gives the book a hidden weight. It’s a hidden anchor. You can feel the time that’s been put into it.”

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Charles Blackstone’s novel Vintage Attraction also hits shelves this week. People magazine writes: “Vintage Attraction is told through the eyes of an English professor (Peter) who writes a letter to his favorite TV wine expert (Izzy) and ends up marrying her after a whirlwind four months of dating. The ups and downs of their love story will hit home with anyone who has fallen hard and fast for a partner.”

Read Blackstone’s short story “Unsaid” in our fiction archives.

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Fans of Philip Roth can dig into a new biography/”critical evaluation” of the author, Roth Unbound: A Writer and His Books by Claudia Roth Pierpont, this week, while Beatlemaniacs get All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles Release by Philippe Margotin, Patti Smith and others.

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Lawrence Coates has won Gulf Coast magazine’s Barthelme Prize for Short Prose.

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