Donna Tartt's New Novel of Art and Graft

Literature's glittering cicada returns with the beguiling Goldfinch

Fair warning: I'm writing this review as a critic but also as a fan. I've read Donna Tartt's The Secret History probably five times, ballpark--maybe more, if you aggregate my obsessive reperusal of particular favorite scenes. When it appeared in 1992, The Secret History was like an object phase-shifted over from some more literarily exciting dimension: an exotic hybrid beast exhibiting the best traits of literary novels, detective fiction and intellectual history, with none of the boring bits. Postmodern cultural theory had promised me a future in which high and low fiction converged. In The Secret History, they did.

I'm not...

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