Donna Tartt Shrine
Donna Tartt - on DogsBut she's happy to discuss her dogs: Pongo, now 16, another pug, Cecil, and a Boston terrier called Baron. They share her Upper East Side apartment and the Virginia farm bought with her book earnings. Most of her writing is done at home, in longhand, and she denies ever having writer's block. "I write nearly every day. But not everything I write goes into the finished work ... I was lucky, because I'd started The Little Friend before I'd finished The Secret History."
"My dog," she wrote, "has a number of acquaintances of his own species - as do I - but it is abundantly clear to both of us that there is little company in all the world which we enjoy so much as each other's." Tartt was the proud owner of a pug when she wrote that, and her canine family has since been enlarged by the addition of another pug and a Boston terrier.
Mind you, it's difficult to imagine anyone taking the place of the real loves of her life, her dogs. She now has three - an old pug called Pongo ("he's kind of like Henry James, very stately and stiff and cranky in a good way"), a Boston terrier called Baron ("very radiant, very brave, absolutely fearless") and a baby pug called Cecil ("very roly-poly and cute"). She once said, in a typically Tarttish way, witty and self-creating: "My dog has a number of acquaintances of his own species - as do I - but it is abundantly clear to both of us that there is little company in all the world which we enjoy so much as each other's."
Robert Birnbaum: What kind of dogs do you have?
Donna Tartt: I have two pugs and a Boston terrier.
Robert Birnbaum: Farm dogs. (both laugh)
Donna Tartt: No, they are not farm dogs at all. They are such city dogs. The Boston terrier is a farm dog but the pugs aren't. They don't like to walk on grass, only concrete.