THE GOLDFINCH

3 Nov
.

Little, Brown and Company/a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc. 2013 Hardcover First Edition – 771 pages Ingenious Jacket design by Keith Hayes

The first thing you notice about The Goldfinch, the book, is its unique loyalty to The Goldfinch, the painting. The very real Goldfinch painting is a small (9 x 13 inch) oil on wood panel and was painted in 1654 by Carel Fabritius*. It is on permanent display in the Mauritshuis museum located in The Hague, Netherlands, but does venture out, from time to time on loan, to other museums in the country.

The Goldfinch, the book, is elegantly written in retrospective-first-person-narration, and is the recipient of this year’s Pulitzer Prize for fiction. The telling takes a look into Theo’s coming-of-age after his mother is killed in a terror-bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where the two were viewing his mother’s favorite painting, The Goldfinch – As Theo staggers his way out of the rubble, he comes across a dying old man laying in the debris of the explosion’s aftermath. In his attempt to help this old man, the tone is set for the rest of the book.

Donna Tartt is an American writer who has written three books, in long-hand, over the span of three decades – give or take: The Secret History 1992; The Little Friend 2002; and this one, The Goldfinch 2013.

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*Carel Fabritius (1622**-1654), was a Dutch painter who studied under Rembrandt. Fabritius died in an explosion that destroyed many of his paintings (only about a dozen survive, among them The Goldfinch, which is one of three paintings painted during the year of his death including: A Young Man in a Fur Cap – thought to be a self-portrait, and The Sentry).

**Historical documentation only goes as far back as his baptismal day in 1622.

 

A Young Man in a Fur Cap

A Young Man in a Fur Cap

The Sentry

The Sentry

The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch

 

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