menu Language Is A Virus

Donna Tartt | About | Androgyny

She says that her obsessions and interests "have not changed very much since I was six or seven years old". She was a tomboy (and says she still is) who had no interest in conforming to others' expectations of how a girl should behave.

"Even now I feel a real funniness about women's costume," she says. "To really put on high heels and a frilly dress, do you know what I'm saying? It seems kind of... comical."

Tartt shares her character's love of adventure stories, but she remembers being frustrated with how few girl heroines she read about. "There were heroic little girls in the real world," she says. "Little Joan (of Arc) was burned at the stake." But in novels, she remembers only Alice, the Wonderland tourist, and Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz."

"Little girls are more calculating," she says now. "A girl plays her cards closer to her vest." Alice and Dorothy "were practical, they asked good questions, they were stubborn and wouldn't take no for an answer. And they also knew when to retreat and when to attack."

+ + + Comments + + +