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.