Donna Tartt Is Writing A New Book, Out In 2012

Donna Tartt

I had a friend who loved Donna Tartt's hair way more than her books.

Dunce Two, because we were recently talking about Donna Tartt, today I’m going to tell you the one almost-fact I know about her new book.

Tartt is the author of The Secret History, which I loved and can remember quite well, and The Little Friend, which I didn’t love at all and barely remember, even though I read all 640 pages. Do you remember it? It had epilepsy, I think, black vans, something to do with meth, and a water tower. Oh, and I think there was a smashed crow.

Little Friend has been brutalized over on Amazon, where it’s sitting at a non-glamorous two star average out of over 605 reviews. History is perched gloriously at four stars and 599 reviews. But that is a book about secret societies, cravats, the Upanishads, dead languages, and an intense Bacchanalia. What’s not to love there?

If my old girl Wikipedia is to be believed, Tartt’s next book is slated for release in 2012.

Are you interested?

Donna Tartt third book, please hurry.


19 thoughts on “Donna Tartt Is Writing A New Book, Out In 2012

  1. Am I interested? If there was a word more definitively affirmative than “yes” I would insert it here, with three exclamation points.

    The Secret History was so good, I almost couldn’t read it. I would read a paragraph, a sentence, a single word, and then look around in breathless excitement for someone to share it with: “Oh my gosh, did you see this, did you see how she wrote this, just there? This is FANTASTIC!” I loved every single thing about that book: the writing, the language, the story (and of course all the specifics you mentioned). I wanted to be a character in that book. I wanted that book to be the first in a 500-part series that I could read, and read, and read, and never read anything else ever again.

    In that context, I feverishly picked up The Little Friend as quickly as I could get my greedy little fingers on it. And, of course I was disappointed.

    I don’t remember The Little Friend too much better than you do (it has been a while). But the writing was still good. There is no denying that Tartt is brilliant beyond brilliant. If I and the 600+ critics that panned it over at Amazon could have read it in a vacuum, I think we would have liked it just fine. But nothing can follow The Secret History. Nothing.

    We read a good book, and that author writes another, we want it to be just as good. We want to love it, all of it, just as much. But not all characters, all stories, are created equal. I have heard it said (I don’t know that I agree with it) that some writers just have one story to tell, the most classic example I have ever heard referenced being Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. I don’t know if that’s true or fair. But I think stories have a life of their own. They aren’t created from scratch. They are inspired and brought to life, but not brought into existence out of nothing. If there is only one The Secret History-caliber story that the author has access to or whatever, then that’s all there is.

    I don’t envy anyone trying to write a follow-up to The Secret History, though. I get the impression that second novels are monumentally difficult, the better the first novel the more challenging the second.

    But I am EXCITED for this third book! If there is a launch/release party, I will be there at midnight, dressed as Dionysus.

  2. Okay, I’ve picked up the Secret History off the bookshelf. We have two copies, better take the one with bigger print. I’ll post my findings soon.

  3. “gasp!” “gasp!” I’m coming up for air from my three-day submersion into The Secret History. I have to say that I really liked it. Obviously. The writing is smart, intense, but inviting as well. I don’t speak any of the languages that are so artfully discussed, but it didn’t seem to make me feel less worthy to be reading the story.
    I have to say I have no interest in being a character in this book. So much angst. Good grief. But the setting was wonderful and I loved being a voyeur into the lives of these somewhat perverse characters.
    It was a great recommendation and I’ll pass it on.

    • Yes! EXACTLY!!!

      Didn’t you feel smarter just reading it? The best part, and I don’t know how she did it, but you, as a reader, feel like there is a secret, and like you are in on it. Very clever, as having a secret only makes you want to share it. Squeal. This book is at the top of my list when people blindly ask me “what’s a book I should read?”

      You don’t like angst? Pish posh. What’s not to love? But you are so right. The setting is unparallelled, and the voyeuristic elements…mmmmmmm….de-lect-able!!!!!!!!!!

      PASS IT ON!!!!!!!!

  4. I hope they never translate the book in Dutch that is going to be published in 2012. The previous one was bad, bad, bad and sad. Never read such a slow moving boring story. I could see and hear the grass grow.

  5. I think perhaps people were disappointed in The Little Friend because they read The Secret History first and loved it so much. I read The Little Friend first and, though I know I am in the minority, I LOVE it. I also like The Secret History, but (and again, I know I’m in the minority), The Little Friend actually holds and more special place in my heart. Perhaps that is because I identify more with the main character than I do with any of the characters in The Secret History. At any rate, I am like other Donna Tartt fans in one very important aspect. Like everyone else, I have been DYING for her next book for years, and when it is published I will probably buy it the second it is available and eat it up.

  6. I actually read TSH first – and really loved it, couldn’t put it down. I then read TLF and….I loved it – maybe even more. Before you start responding something like ‘…this person has no literary intelligence…’ all I can say that good stories are like religion and politics: they are personal, and often one’s connections are result of lifel experiences or identification. Also don’t ever try to change someone’s mind about all three – it never works!

    • Great insights, lena. No one here would accuse you have having no literary intelligence. The books were very different, but both very good. Being personal, like you say, TSH spoke volumes to me, where TLF gave me nothing. But in a way, I am glad. If everyone felt exactly the same way about exactly the same books, that would be a dreary existence indeed. What would we have to talk about? Where would this discussion be?

      Are you excited about book 3? This may be your favorite yet!

  7. Long, long, ago, secretly, stored away in a hidden corner of my family’s basement was an aged fine wine which I drank, though i was not the owner of the bottle. The wine was the most blessed thing I ever experienced and the most accursed because it was so incredible that it rendered all wines drank after into the most bitter vinegar.

    This is what The Secret History is, both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing to come accross such a great work of art and then a curse not to be able to find it’s likeness or it’s intensity in other works making it so difficult to enjoy anything that might come after it.

    • This is maybe the best description of the “Secret History” experience I have ever heard. It was exquisite! Yes, in some ways, everything else pales in comparison. If you ever find anything else even remotely like it, please, please, PLEASE pass it along.

  8. I read both and loved them.
    The Little Friend was super.
    I also got them later on audiobook for the car

    Its a great way to revisit them

    The Little Friend had the same flavour as To Kill A Mocking bird

    looking forward to the new one

    • I’m going to listen to it on Audio, thank you for the recommendation. And sigh, I can’t find any new information about a release date for 2012 so we may be out of luck.

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