Donna Tartt: the slow-burn literary giant
One shock was that The Secret History proved a rare occasion of a novel justifying its hype: technically precise, Victorian in its scope but very much of its moment – a perfectly pitched murder story that captured the thrill-seeking decadence of her liberal-elitist Bennington generation. . . .
She had, admittedly, come replete with enough semi-mythical contradictions to fill any publisher's blurb. She was a hard-drinking southerner who lived alone with her cockatiel and her pug; she bought her clothes from Gap kids, yet she could recite great swaths of poetry and even short stories by heart – TS Eliot and Edgar Allen Poe mostly; she was a Catholic convert apparently sworn to celibacy, with a taste for repressed gothic ghost stories; a one-time sorority girl at Ole Miss University who wrote all night every night. Her brand was completed with a most memorable author photo, perfectly bobbed and manicured in a wintry graveyard.
Via Mary Daniels Brown