Celebrating Pulitzer Prize Winner ‘The Goldfinch’ by Donna Tartt

Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-Winning Novel, The Goldfinch, reached the hearts of many young adult readers. It’s a masterclass in fiction writing and a shocking exposition of narrative.

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The dramatic and electrifying novel, The Goldfinch, was first published by Little, Brown and Company on September 23, 2013. Donna Tartt’s work often takes readers on a wild ride while ensuring that you won’t be able to keep your eyes off the suspenseful pages. The Goldfinch has proven that with its troubled and unique characters and prophetic musings. In 2014, Donna Tartt won the Pulitzer Prize in fiction for the literary novel. Today, we take a look at what made this novel so worthy of honorary recognition and the author’s experience that led her to write one of the most Dickinson-esque novels of our time.

What Is The Goldfinch?

The cover of The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt features a painting of a bird created by the Dutch artist Carel Fabritius. The original artwork itself dates back to 1654. The painting reflects the actual art piece that the main character attempts to steal in the novel. It’s a nice touch to the story’s overarching tale. The book is a coming-of-age story of teenager Theo Decker from New York City. After miraculously surviving an accident that kills his mother, Theo sets out to save or steal a famous painting for a stranger he meets in the fiery wreckage at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Tartt divides his troubled life into the moments before and after losing his mother. Theo’s grief takes a toll on him, and his father leaves him behind. We are left with the most intense maternal image, The Goldfinch, with the main character’s life forever changed.


It’s been eight years since the book won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2014. According to the Pulitzer jury, the novel offered “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.” The novel also received the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction for The Goldfinch in 2014. Additionally, a film adaptation of the novel was released in 2019. The movie starred Oakes Fegley, Nicole Kidman, Hailey Wist, Sarah Paulson, Ansel Elgort, Finn Wolfhard, and more. John Crowley directed the film with a screenplay by Peter Straughan. The suspense-driven literary novel provides readers with unforgettable characters, descriptive language, and a world that falls apart on itself. It’s a stunning narrative piece.

Donna Tartt’s Secret History of Novels

Author Donna Tartt was born December 23, 1963, in Greenwood, Mississippi. She grew up in Grenada, Mississippi, where her passion for writing sprouted early. When Tartt was only five years old, she wrote her first poem. By thirteen years old, she had already published a sonnet in the Mississippi literary review. While letting her creative talents flourish, Tartt attended the University of Mississippi. However, when her work caught the eye of Willie Morris, a writer at the university, he suggested she join his graduate short story class. She outperformed her literary colleagues as a freshman and then transferred to Bennington College. While there, she befriended several novelists like Bret Easton Ellis and Jill Eisenstadt. Her time spent there inspired the workings of her debut novel, The Secret History, in 1992. She has since written three glorious books known as The Secret History, The Little Friend, and our favorite classic, The Goldfinch.


On this day, we celebrate Donna Tartt’s honorary novel, The Goldfinch. Literary critics have embraced the Pultizer Prize-winning thriller. There has been so much praise for the book’s brilliant language and edge-of-your-seat plot with the balance of her characters in their most intimate internal and external worlds. It’s no surprise that each of her novels has stirred quite the conversation over the last ten years. In The Goldfinch, the exploration of love and art depicts a unique comparison with feelings related to instinct and desire. This novel stirs your emotions, and once you turn one suspenseful page, there’s no going back.

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