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Donna Tartt's Quotes

Donna Tartt profile photo

Born: 1963-12-23
Profession: Novelist
Nation: American
Biography of Donna Tartt

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Well, I think storytellers have always found murder a fascinating device.

Tags: Device, Found

Children have very sharp powers of observation - probably sharper than adults - yet at the same time their emotional reactions are murky and much more primitive.

Tags: Children, Emotional, Time

I believe, in a funny way, the job of the novelist is to be out there on the fringes and speaking for an experience that has not really been spoken for.

Tags: Experience, Funny, Job

In order for a long piece of work to engage a novelist over an extended period of time, it has to deal with questions that you find very important, that you're trying to work out.

Tags: Time, Trying, Work

On the other hand, I mean, that is what writers have always been supposed to do, was to rely on their own devices and to - I mean, writing is a lonely business.

Tags: Business, Lonely, Writing

So I'm not a Southern writer in the commonly held sense of the term, like Faulkner or Eudora Welty, who took the South for their entire literary environment and subject matter.

Tags: Matter, Sense, Writer

The Little Friend is a long book. It's also completely different from my first novel: different landscape, different characters, different use of language and diction, different approach to story.

Tags: Book, Friend, Story

The novel is about five students of classics who are studying with a classics professor, and they take the ideas of the things that they're learning from him a bit too seriously, with terrible consequences.

Tags: Him, Ideas, Learning

There's an expectation these days that novels - like any other consumer product - should be made on a production line, with one dropping from the conveyor belt every couple of years.

Tags: Couple, Days, Line

Well, I do have some maiden aunts that are not quite like the aunts in the book, but I definitely do have a couple of them, and a couple of old aunties.

Tags: Book, Old, Quite

You are - all your experience just kind of accumulates, and the novel takes a richness of its own simply because it has the weight of all those years that one's put into it.

Tags: Experience, Put, Takes

The books I loved in childhood - the first loves - I've read so often that I've internalized them in some really essential way: they are more inside me now than out.

Tags: Loved, Often, Read

The storytelling gift is innate: one has it or one doesn't. But style is at least partly a learned thing: one refines it by looking and listening and reading and practice - by work.

Tags: Learned, Looking, Work

Children love secret club houses. They love secrecy even when there's no need for secrecy.

Tags: Children, Love, Secret

Everything takes me longer than I expect. It's the sad truth about life.

Tags: Life, Sad, Truth

I'm not sure whay I've been drawn to this subject, except that murder is a subject that has always drawn people for as long as people have been telling stories.

Tags: Except, Stories, Sure

My novels aren't really generated by a single conceptual spark; it's more a process of many different elements that come together unexpectedly over a long period of time.

Tags: Single, Time, Together

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Much more quotes by Donna Tartt below the page.

Taking on challenging projects is the way that one grows and extends one's range as a writer, one's technical command, so I consider the time well-spent.

Tags: Taking, Time, Writer

To really be centered and to really work well and to think about the kinds of things that I need to think about, I need to spend large amounts of time alone.

Tags: Alone, Time, Work

When I'm writing, I am concentrating almost wholly on concrete detail: the color a room is painted, the way a drop of water rolls off a wet leaf after a rain.

Tags: After, Rain, Writing

Actually, I enjoy the process of writing a big long novel.

Tags: Big, Enjoy, Writing

But it's for every writer to decide his own pace, and the pace varies with the writer and the work.

Tags: Decide, Work, Writer

But romantic vision can also lead one away from certain very hard, ugly truths about life that are important to know.

Tags: Hard, Life, Romantic

Character, to me, is the life's blood of fiction.

Tags: Blood, Character, Life

Children - if you think back really what it was like to be a child and what it was like to know other children - children lie all the time.

Tags: Children, Lie, Time

I just finished writing an essay about William Maxwell, an American writer whose work I admire very much.

Tags: American, Work, Writing

I love the tradition of Dickens, where even the most minor walk-on characters are twitching and particular and alive.

Tags: Alive, Characters, Love

I really do work in solitude.

Tags: Solitude, Work

I think innocence is something that adults project upon children that's not really there.

Tags: Children, Innocence, Project

I think it's hard to write about children and to have an idea of innocence.

Tags: Children, Hard, Write

I'd rather write one good book than ten mediocre ones.

Tags: Book, Good, Rather

I've written only two novels, but they're both long ones, and they each took a decade to write.

Tags: Both, Took, Write

It's hard for me to show work while I'm writing, because other people's comments will influence what happens.

Tags: Hard, Work, Writing

Sometimes you can do all the right things and not succeed. And that's a hard lesson of reality.

Tags: Hard, Reality, Sometimes

Storytelling and elegant style don't always go hand in hand.

Tags: Elegant, Hand, Style

The job of the novelist is to invent: to embroider, to color, to embellish, to make things up.

Tags: Color, Invent, Job