Other Free Encyclopedias » Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern Fiction » Books & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Sc-Tr)

Tartt, Donna

novel literary college

(US, 1963– )

Donna Tartt's first novel, The Secret History (1992), was both a commercial and literary success. It has been described appropriately as a ‘highbrow chiller’. The novel is set in a small college in Vermont, based on Tartt's own Bennington College. An élite group of Greek classics students murder a farmer for reasons both erudite and fantastical, and are driven to kill again. The story is told by Richard Papen, an impoverished student, awed by this inner circle. The book is both gripping and intelligently written, exploring the nature of evil and the differences between modern and classical values.

Her second novel, The Little Friend (2002) has proved equally popular. A nine-year-old boy is found hanging from a tree in his own garden in Mississippi. Twelve years later his baby sister attempts to unravel what happened, and enters a menacing world of adult secrets. Again the style is literary, the content pure thriller.

P. D. James, Ruth Rendell (writing as Barbara Vine)  SA/JR

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