American author Donna Tartt is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her critically acclaimed third novel, The Goldfinch.
The 50-year-old author said she was “incredibly happy and incredibly honored” to receive the award.
A statement on the Pulitzer Prize website states:
“For distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).”
“Awarded to The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt (Little, Brown), a beautifully written coming-of-age novel with exquisitely drawn characters that follows a grieving boy’s entanglement with a small famous painting that has eluded destruction, a book that stimulates the mind and touches the heart.”
Tartt’s novel — which is also being considered for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction in the UK — was up against The Son by Philipp Meyer, and The Woman Who Lost Her Soul by Bob Shacochis, Pulitzer.org says.
Donna Tartt’s novel is “a beautifully written coming-of-age novel (…) that stimulates the mind and touches the heart,” Columbia University — which awards the Pulitzer — said of the winner.
Tartt made her debut in the literary world with her 1992 novel The Secret History, which she began writing while attending Bennington College.
The Mississippi native went on to sell out the original 75,000 copies and the novel became a bestseller. The book was later translated into 24 languages.
A decade later, in 2002, Donna Tartt published her second novel, The Little Friend, about a young girl living in the American South in the late 20th century.
In The Goldfinch, Tartt tells the story of Theo Decker, a 13-year-old boy from New York who barely survives an accident that kills his mother, and is abandoned by his father. He is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend.
Tartt paints a bleak picture of Theo’s existence, as he misses his mother desperately, while adjusting to his new station in life.
“The Goldfinch is a novel of shocking narrative energy and power. It combines unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and breathtaking suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher’s calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is a beautiful, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.”
After a strong debut novel, Donna Tartt disappointed many of her fans with the weaker The Secret History, and it would be 10 years before they would enjoy The Goldfinch.
“The only thing I am sorry about is that Willie Morris and Barry Hannah aren’t here,” said Tartt, referring to two of her early mentors. “They would have loved this.”
Last month The Wrap reported that there are plans to bring Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize winner The Goldfinch to the big screen or as a television series to be produced by the same team that produces The Hunger Games.
[Image via em>Waterstones.com/Twitter]