Donna Tartt: Author Bio About and Best Quotes

Ten of My Favorite Donna Tartt Quotes 

Donna Tartt, a writer whom I am guessing you love? Here are our 10 best Donna Tartt quotes for you to enjoy. At Australia Unwrapped we believe every book has at least one quotable line, and our mission is to find them all. Here you will find Donna Tartt’s top 10 popular and famous quotes. Like every good writer Donna Tartt made a number of memorable quotes, here are some of our favorites: 

About Donna Tartt

Donna Tartt is an American writer whose first two novels, The Secret History and The Little Friend, have been translated into thirty languages. In 2003, Tartt won the WH Smith Literary Award for The Little Friend. In 2014, she won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Goldfinch.

Born and raised in Grenada, Mississippi, she is the daughter of Don and Taylor Tartt. At the age of five, she wrote her first poem, and at the age of 13, she saw it published in a Mississippi literary review.

When she enrolled at the University of Mississippi in 1981, she pledged to the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma. As a freshman, her writing caught the attention of Willie Morris. Barry Hannah, then an Ole Miss Writer-in-Residence, admitted Tartt into his graduate short story course after Morris recommended her. Hannah stated that Tartt ranked higher than the graduate students. Morris and others suggested she transfer to Bennington College in 1982, where she became friends with fellow students Bret Easton Ellis, Jill Eisenstadt, and Jonathan Lethem. She studied classics with Claude Fredericks at Bennington.

Born: December 23, 1963, Greenwood, Mississippi, The United States
Genre: Fiction, Short Stories

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Popular Quotes

“Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it.”
― Donna Tartt, The Secret History

 “It’s a very Greek idea, and a very profound one. Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it. And what could be more terrifying and beautiful, to souls like the Greeks or our own, than to lose control completely? To throw off the chains of being for an instant, to shatter the accident of our mortal selves? Euripides speaks of the Maenads: head thrown I back, throat to the stars, “more like deer than human being.” To be absolutely free! One is quite capable, of course, of working out these destructive passions in more vulgar and less efficient ways. But how glorious to release them in a single burst! To sing, to scream, to dance barefoot in the woods in the dead of night, with no more awareness of mortality than an animal! These are powerful mysteries. The bellowing of bulls. Springs of honey bubbling from the ground. If we are strong enough in our souls we can rip away the veil and look that naked, terrible beauty right in the face; let God consume us, devour us, unstring our bones. Then spit us out reborn.”
― Donna Tartt, The Secret History

“That life – whatever else it is – is short. That fate is cruel but maybe not random. That Nature (meaning Death) always wins but that doesn’t mean we have to bow and grovel to it. That maybe even if we’re not always so glad to be here, it’s our task to immerse ourselves anyway: wade straight through it, right through the cesspool, while keeping eyes and hearts open. And in the midst of our dying, as we rise from the organic and sink back ignominiously into the organic, it is a glory and a privilege to love what Death doesn’t touch.”
― Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

 “Does such a thing as ‘the fatal flaw,’ that showy dark crack running down the middle of a life, exist outside literature? I used to think it didn’t. Now I think it does. And I think that mine is this: a morbid longing for the picturesque at all costs.”
― Donna Tartt, The Secret History

 “A great sorrow, and one that I am only beginning to understand: we don’t get to choose our own hearts. We can’t make ourselves want what’s good for us or what’s good for other people. We don’t get to choose the people we are.”
― Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

 “Caring too much for objects can destroy you. Only—if you care for a thing enough, it takes on a life of its own, doesn’t it? And isn’t the whole point of things—beautiful things—that they connect you to some larger beauty?”
― Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

“You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.”
― Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

 “I had the epiphany that laughter was light, and light was laughter, and that this was the secret of the universe.”
― Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

“Beauty is rarely soft or consolatory. Quite the contrary. Genuine beauty is always quite alarming.”
― Donna Tartt, The Secret History

“Stay away from the ones you love too much. Those are the ones who will kill you.”
― Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

10 Famous Quotes by Author Donna Tartt

Quotes for all, here you found our selection of 10 Donna Tartt quotes. Make sure you help by commenting your best Donna Tartt quote below and sharing our favorite authors so we can look them up, read some of their works and give you the best quotes we can find. We hope you enjoyed our top 10 quotes by Donna Tartt. However, feel free to comment below if you disagree or would like to include some other great and memorable Donna Tartt quotes in our list. 

One Final Bonus – Donna Tartt Quote 

“I look at the blanked-out faces of the other passengers–hoisting their briefcases, their backpacks, shuffling to disembark–and I think of what Hobie said: beauty alters the grain of reality. And I keep thinking too of the more conventional wisdom: namely, that the pursuit of pure beauty is a trap, a fast track to bitterness and sorrow, that beauty has to be wedded to something more meaningful.

Only what is that thing? Why am I made the way I am? Why do I care about all the wrong things, and nothing at all for the right ones? Or, to tip it another way: how can I see so clearly that everything I love or care about is illusion, and yet–for me, anyway–all that’s worth living for lies in that charm?

A great sorrow, and one that I am only beginning to understand: we don’t get to choose our own hearts. We can’t make ourselves want what’s good for us or what’s good for other people. We don’t get to choose the people we are.

Because–isn’t it drilled into us constantly, from childhood on, an unquestioned platitude in the culture–? From William Blake to Lady Gaga, from Rousseau to Rumi to Tosca to Mister Rogers, it’s a curiously uniform message, accepted from high to low: when in doubt, what to do? How do we know what’s right for us? Every shrink, every career counselor, every Disney princess knows the answer: “Be yourself.” “Follow your heart.”

Only here’s what I really, really want someone to explain to me. What if one happens to be possessed of a heart that can’t be trusted–? What if the heart, for its own unfathomable reasons, leads one willfully and in a cloud of unspeakable radiance away from health, domesticity, civic responsibility and strong social connections and all the blandly-held common virtues and instead straight toward a beautiful flare of ruin, self-immolation, disaster?…If your deepest self is singing and coaxing you straight toward the bonfire, is it better to turn away? Stop your ears with wax? Ignore all the perverse glory your heart is screaming at you? Set yourself on the course that will lead you dutifully towards the norm, reasonable hours and regular medical check-ups, stable relationships and steady career advancement the New York Times and brunch on Sunday, all with the promise of being somehow a better person? Or…is it better to throw yourself head first and laughing into the holy rage calling your name?”
― Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

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Also see: Doris Kearns Goodwin: Author Bio About and Best Quotes

Dave Peterson
Dave Peterson
Be a little better today than yesterday.


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