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Donna Tartt’s third novel due in October

In the latest example of the strange, mystical power already exhibited by 2013 to draw maddeningly non-prolific artists out of hiding – following on from My Bloody Valentine’s twenty-two-years-later follow-up to Loveless, Terrence Malick’s second film in less than two years (his sixth in forty) and the promise of new work from Thomas Pynchon to come – author of The Secret History and The Little Friend Donna Tartt will release her third novel this October.

The Goldfinch comes, as noted by Vulture, exactly eleven years after the October 2002 publication of The Little Friend, which itself took a decade to follow 1992’s The Secret History (so take note everyone, Donna Tartt now owns 22 October the same way Will Smith used to own the Independence Day weekend). The 608 page book was originally acquired by Little, Brown in 2008, and has obviously missed its slated 2012 release by some distance. It is already available to pre-order through Amazon, which describes its plot thusly:

A young boy in New York City, Theo Decker, miraculously survives an explosion that takes the life of his mother. Alone and determined to avoid being taken in by the city as an orphan, Theo scrambles between nights in friends’ apartments and on the city streets. He becomes entranced by the one thing that reminds him of his mother: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that soon draws Theo into the art underworld.

Composed with the skills of a master, The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America. It is a story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the enormous power of art.

The set-up will no doubt sound familiar to fans of Tartt’s prior work, sharing an investigation carried out by a child with The Little Friend and depictions of an insular, secretive society with The Secret History. Given the average gestation period of her work, fans will also know to relish the book when it arrives, as it could be some time before Tartt grants them another.

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Chris Ward

Chris Ward

Chris Ward writes and says things about books and music and films and what have you, even when no one is reading or listening.
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.

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