American novelist Donna Tartt’s recent Pulitzer Prize winner, The Goldfinch, has been both praised and panned. Born and raised in Mississippi, Tartt was already marked as “a rare genius” and “a literary star” at age eighteen. Her prose style, both immersive and protracted stands in contrast to much of contemporary writing which favors the crisp and concise. All of that aside, her perception is remarkable. Here are just a couple inspiring samples.

“To understand the word at all sometimes you could only focus on a tiny bit of it, look very hard at what was close to hand and make it stand in for the whole; but ever since the painting had vanished from under me I’d felt drowned and extinguished by vastness — not just the predictable vastness of time, and space, but the impassable distances between people even when they were within arm’s reach of each other, and with a swell of vertigo I thought of all the places I’d been and all the places I hadn’t, a world lost and vast and unknowable, dingy maze of cities and alleyways, far-drifting ash and hostile immensities, connections missed, things lost and never found, and my painting swept away on the powerful current and drifting out there somewhere: a tiny fragment of spirit, faint spark bobbing on a dark sea.”

“Unknown streets, incomprehensible turns, anonymous distances. I’d stopped even trying to read the street signs or keep track of where we were. Of everything around me — of all I could see — the only point of reference was the moon riding high above the clouds, which though bright and full seemed weirdly unstable somehow, void of gravity, not the pure anchoring moon of the desert but more like a party trick that might pop out at a conjurer’s wink or else float away into the darkness and out of sight.”


  1. Dan Beeaff says:

    Nice writing!

    Sent from my iPad



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  • Copyright © 2011-16, Dianne Ebertt Beeaff. All Rights Reserved.
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