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Donna Tartt was born in Greenwood, Mississippi on December 23, 1963. She wrote her first novel while attending Bennington College, where she graduated in 1986. The novel, The Secret History, was published in 1992. Her other works include The Little Friend, which won the WH Smith Literary Award in 2003, and The Goldfinch, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2014 for Best Fiction, the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2013 and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence for Fiction. In 2014, Time named Tartt among their 100 Most Influential People. (Bowker Author Biography) — biography from The Secret History… (more)
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Donna Tartt (born December 23, 1963) is an American author. Tartt's novels include 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 for Fiction for The Goldfinch in 2014. She was included in Time magazine's 2014 "100 Most Influential People" list.

Tartt was born in Greenwood, Mississippi located in the Mississippi Delta, and raised in the nearby town of Grenada. Her father, Don Tartt, was a successful local politician, while her mother, Taylor, was a secretary. At age thirteen, Tartt was published for the first time when a sonnet was included in a Mississippi literary review.

Tartt enrolled in the University of Mississippi in 1981, where 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 the eighteen-year-old Tartt into his graduate course on the short story. "She was deeply literary," said Hannah. "Just a rare genius, really. A literary star."

Following the suggestion of Morris and others, she transferred to Bennington College in 1982. At Bennington, Tartt studied classics with Claude Fredericks.

In 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 reimagined and rewritten by contemporary authors. In 2006, Tartt's short story "The Ambush" was included in the Best American Short Stories 2006.

Tartt is a convert to Catholicism and contributed an essay, "The spirit and writing in a secular world", to The Novel, Spirituality and Modern Culture (2000). In her essay Tartt wrote that "...faith is vital in the process of making my work and in the reasons I am driven to make it". However, Tartt also warned of the danger of writers who impose their beliefs or convictions on their novels. She wrote that writers should "shy from asserting those convictions directly in their work".
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