Goldfinch AM-77 - History

Goldfinch AM-77 - History

Goldfinch

An American lemon-yellow finch with black cap, wings, and tail.

(AM-77: dp. 455; 1. 132'4"; b. 24'; dr. 9'8"; s. 10 k.;
a. 1 3")

Goldfinch (AM-77) was built as trawler Fordham in 1929 by Bath Iron Works of Bath, Maine, and purchased by the Navy 18 September 1940 from F. J. O'Hara & Sons, Inc., Boston, Mass. She was converted to a minesweeper at Bethlehem Atlantic Yard, Boston, and commissioned at Boston Navy Yard 30 January 1941, Lt. Comdr. W. R. McCaleb in command.

Goldfinch was first assigned to Inshore Patrol Force, 1st Naval District, then shifted her operations to Chesapeake Bay, where she conducted minesweeping operations off Norfolk and Yorktown, VA. Reporting to Newport, R.I., 1 July, Goldfinch joined Squadron 9 for minesweeping operations ranging from Argentia, Newfoundland, to Norfolk, She became flagship of the Squadron 29 September at Portland, Maine.

Transferred to duty in Newfoundland, Goldfinch based her operations during the period 1 December 1942 to May 1944 at Fort McAndrew and Argentia, Newfoundland, constantly patrolling for mines to protect merchant shipping and warships alike as they plied those waters. She arrived Boston June 1944 for conversion to civilian use as a trawler and decommissioned 18 August 1944. Delivered to the Maritime Commission, Goldfinch was sold 9 January 1946 to the Norwegian Shipping and Trade Commission of New York.


American Goldfinch Identification

Small finch with a short, conical bill and a short, notched tail. Breeding males are bright yellow with black forehead, black wings with white markings.

Nonbreeding male

Small finch with a conical bill and notched tail. Nonbreeding males are a drab, unstreaked brown, with blackish wings and two pale wingbars.

Breeding male

Often feeds on small-seeded plants such as thistles. Breeding males have black cap, wings, and tail bright yellow body.

Breeding female

Breeding females are duller yellow beneath and more olive above than breeding males.

Immature

Immatures are brown above and pale yellow below, shading to buff on the sides. Two buffy wingbars mark their dark wings.

Breeding male

Song is long and jumbled may include mimicked elements of other birds' songs. Males sing from high, exposed perches. Note white in tail, which is conspicuous in flight.

Female/immature

Females/immatures are pale yellow below and don't have streaked underparts.

Breeding male

Breeding males have a black forehead, a yellow back, and black-and-white wings. Some males have more white-tipped (worn) feathers on their wings than others.

Female/immature

These nimble birds feed on small-seeded plants including sycamores. Females are brownish without any streaking and have distinctive, bold black wings with whitish wingbars.

Breeding male

Balances on the seedheads of thistles, dandelions, and other plants to pluck seeds.

Flock

Frequently feeds in flocks at sunflower and nyjer seed feeders.

Female/immature

Despite having a fairly small bill for a finch, goldfinches can crack and remove the hard shells of sunflowers, then crush the seed inside before swallowing.


Why Donna Tartt's The Secret History Never Became a Movie

Everyone agrees Tartt's beloved 1992 bestseller should be a film. So why are we watching The Goldfinch instead of the movie we really want?

It isn't every book that becomes an instant literary sensation. Since its release, The Secret History has always been something special.

The 1992 phenomenon was the debut novel by Donna Tartt, then a fresh-faced young author who got her book deal while she was still a student at Bennington College, the Vermont liberal arts enclave where her classmates included Bret Easton Ellis, Jonathan Lethem, and Quintana Roo Dunne.

When she was still in her twenties, Tartt had been signed by the powerful literary agent Amanda Urban (known as Binky), who sold The Secret History to publisher Knopf for nearly half a million dollars. The book, which told the story of a group of college friends with a dark secret, was published to reviews that more than justified the price and the deafening buzz. A glowing New York Times review raved that it was &ldquoa ferociously well-paced entertainment," and Vanity Fair called it "a huge, mesmerizing, galloping read, pleasurably devoured."

The book became a hit not only in erudite literary circles but with fans of commercial fiction as well, making it a bestseller and something of a perfect storm for a brilliant new voice and her publisher's well-oiled hype machine. In one article, the Times explained, "How the novel became such an all-round triumph is a case of the best of marketing and promotion meeting the best of writing, the complementing of strategy and talent.&rdquo

Considering the rabid audience the book had found and the unforgettable characters Tartt had created, the inevitable next step for such a hot property seemed like it would be a film deal.

However, even the most cinematic of books don&rsquot always end up on the big screen. For every Little Women adaptation that gets made again and again, there&rsquos a Confederacy of Dunces script stuck in a drawer. And for every novel that gets optioned by a streaming giant, there are only a select few that get actual release dates. Still, if networks and studios are turning to books for creative properties at a booming rate, then it hurts all the more when a cult favorite languishes in the development process.

Search the internet for lists of books that should have been made into films, and The Secret History, shows up on most of them. Entertainment Weeklycalled it a &ldquoperfect blend of high-end art and low-end drama that is so popular on our screens right now.&rdquo Those of us who believe that Tartt&rsquos debut is her true masterpiece can find little solace in the fact that her first work to be adapted to the screen hits theaters this autumn.

Tartt&rsquos 2014 Pulitzer-winning novel, The Goldfinch, is a Dickensian coming of age story set within the lush framework of the art world on the Upper East Side, and the film version, which just hit theaters, contains a cast full of stars including Nicole Kidman, Ansel Elgort, Sarah Paulson, and Jeffrey Wright. Adapted by Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and directed by John Crowley (Brooklyn). The rollout of The Goldfinch has been a big event, all fancy red carpets and Oscar speculation (though scathing reviews at the Toronto Film Festival make an Academy Awards sweep seem unlikely).

Alas, we Secret History lovers are left to reread our dog-eared paperbacks and wonder what went wrong.

Set in the 1980s at a liberal arts college in New England that&rsquos a thinly veiled version of Bennington, The Secret History is an ode to fatal flaws and the beauty that can be found in terror, in which intellectual pursuits feel as romantic as spiritual ones. It&rsquos the story of five students enrolled in an elite Ancient Greek major told from the perspective of the outsider who joins the clique and loses himself. &ldquoWe don't like to admit it,&rdquo says their charismatic professor, &ldquobut the idea of losing control is one that fascinates controlled people such as ourselves more than almost anything.&rdquo

The Secret History is a novel of ideas with plenty of action&mdashthere&rsquos sex, drugs, murder, and a Bacchanal gone horribly wrong, all of which are excellent ingredients for a blockbuster movie. Around the time of its release, literary adaptations including The Silence of the Lambs and Fried Green Tomatoes were thriving at the box office, so The Secret History seemed like the perfect candidate for a screen treatment.

But even Tartt&rsquos own camp seemed to understand that momentum at bookstores didn&rsquot guarantee a novel would be made into a blockbuster. One of her agents told Variety in 2001, &ldquoIf you don&rsquot make the right deal for a book early on, it&rsquos going to set you back a long time.&rdquo And that seems to be exactly what happened.

Director Alan J. Pakula snapped up film rights for Warner Brothers when The Secret History was published, with no less than Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne signed on to write the screenplay and Scott Hicks set to direct. But Pakula died a few years later in a 1998 car crash, and his Secret History project never got off the ground.

There was more hope when, in concurrence with the publication of Tartt&rsquos second novel, The Little Friend, in 2002, Gwyneth Paltrow and her brother Jake announced that they&rsquod made a deal to develop The Secret History with Miramax.

Those of us who spent hours contemplating their dream cast of the book loved the idea of Gwyneth (who&rsquod act as a producer) playing Camilla Macaulay, the sole female member of the ancient Greek gang. Might Ethan Hawke or Leonardo DiCaprio round out the cast? We could dream.

This adaptation appeared to be on its way. Miramax honcho Harvey Weinstein (still an indie film hero at the time) said, &ldquoThis is a fabulous project that I fell in love with as soon as I read it,&rdquo and Tartt&rsquos then-literary agent trumpeted the progress being made, telling one reporter, "I know that a script is being worked on as we speak.&rdquo

However, when Bruce Paltrow, father of Jake and Gwyneth, died later that year, the siblings set the project aside, and tragically it was Bret Easton Ellis&rsquos The Rules of Attraction that became the first thinly veiled novel-turned-film about Bennington to hit theaters.

Film rights usually last for a year with the possibility of a renewal, but every company&mdashand in some cases every project&mdashhas a different policy. In this case, Miramax let film rights for The Secret History revert back to Tartt.

Once the book is out there, it&rsquos not really mine anymore, and my own idea isn&rsquot any more valid than yours. And then I begin the long process of disengaging.

Timing is everything, according to one New York-based literary agent. In general, it&rsquos difficult to make adaptations because so many different elements must line up at once. &ldquoIt&rsquos like herding cats,&rdquo she says. &ldquoThe agents have to get a good script, the right actors, who are available to actually make it at the same time, the right studio with enough money, and then someone has to distribute it. There's no order in which that has to happen, except the obvious one.&rdquo

Still, as recently as 2013, there had still been talk of adapting The Secret History. This time Tartt&rsquos former Bennington classmates Melissa Rosenberg (who worked on Twilight and Jessica Jones) and Bret Easton Ellis (to whom The Secret History was dedicated), hoped to develop her novel as a miniseries. That project fizzled out quickly, along with Elllis&rsquos own adaptation of his novel Less Than Zero, which he&rsquod been developing as a series for Hulu decades after Andrew McCarthy and James Spader starred in the film version.

In the time since her debut made her a literary superstar, Tartt has more or less avoided the spotlight. While plenty of authors these days interact with fans directly on social media, Tartt&mdashwho is said to split her time between Manhattan and a farm in Virginia&mdashhas been hesitant to reach out to her audience, preferring to stay out of the public eye. In 2013, she told Town & Country, &ldquoI&rsquom a bit of a lone wolf. I don&rsquot give interviews or do publicity unless I have a book out&mdashtoo distracting. My desk is where the real work happens.&rdquo

With The Goldfinch, which came out six years ago, Tartt again became a cultural phenomenon. But while this one did make it to the big screen, the six-year process of making that movie may have only served to confirm the author's suspicions about the filmmaking process.

The path to the film version of The Goldfinch was at least more straightforward. In 2014 Warner Brothers and Brett Ratner&rsquos RatPac Entertainment picked up film rights, and in 2017 they teamed up with Amazon Studios to finance it.

Still, the process wasn't without its hiccups. According to "Page Six," Tartt ended up parting ways with her long-time agent Urban over the film&mdash"she was unhappy with the deal made for the movie," a source told the column, which claimed Tartt wanted a chance to write the script or produce&mdashdespite a reported $3 million payday. The film, which premiered in early September at the Toronto International Film Festival, earned decidedly mixed reviews. One critic said "There might be no more boilerplate prestige-y prestige product at this year&rsquos Toronto International Film Festival than The Goldfinch," and called the adaptation "stately and surefooted," while another dismissed it as "a morose and downbeat movie, too lost in the maze of its designer seriousness."

Will the release of The Goldfinch prompt another attempt to bring The Secret History to the big screen? We can only hope. Those familiar with Tartt's thinking say she's no longer interested in seeing her debut adapted at all, and rumors had her hesitant to sell the rights for The Goldfinch at first. She told this magazine when The Goldfinch was published that "once the book is out there it&rsquos not really mine anymore, and my own idea isn&rsquot any more valid than yours. And then I begin the long process of disengaging.&rdquo Sources tell T&C that she even refused to allow her current publisher, Little, Brown, to sell a movie tie-in edition of the novel, a move that will likely reduce sales.

Which is all to say that an adaptation of The Secret History remains a distant dream. We can still do casting in our heads&mdashthe 2019 version might have Timothee Chalamet as rich and handsome Frances, or John Boyega as outsider Richard&mdashand hope that the planets align. But until then, part of the enduring mystique of The Secret History is that for Hollywood and an army of fans, it's the ultimate one that got away.


History and Physical Examination

Taking a personal history starts with a list of screening questions based on a bleeding score system (Table 3) .3 This bleeding score system is a clinical decision rule to screen for von Willebrand's disease, the most common inherited bleeding disorder. This disease results from a quantitative or qualitative defect in von Willebrand's factor, which is required for platelet aggregation. Although the bleeding score system is intended for the diagnosis of von Willebrand's disease, it lists criteria necessary to diagnose other bleeding disorders as well.4 – 9 A history of bleeding that requires surgical intervention, blood transfusion, or replacement therapy is a significant red flag for a bleeding disorder and, therefore, receives a high number of points. More information on the bleeding score can be found at http://www.euvwd.group.shef.ac.uk/bleed_score.htm. Table 4 3 indicates the probability of von Willebrand's disease based on the bleeding score.

Bleeding Score System for Evaluation of Bleeding History

No or trivial (< 5 episodes per year)

> 5 episodes per year or lasts > 10 minutes

Packing, cauterization, or antifibrinolytic

Blood transfusion, replacement therapy, or desmopressin (DDAVP)

Cutaneous (bruises, petechia, subcutaneous hematoma)

No or trivial (< 5 episodes per year)

> 5 episodes per year or lasts > 5 minutes

Blood transfusion, replacement therapy, or desmopressin

Oral cavity (bleeding gums [spontaneous or with brushing], bites to lip and tongue, tooth eruption)

Bleeding noted at least once

Surgical hemostasis or antifibrinolytic

Blood transfusion, replacement therapy, or desmopressin

Gastrointestinal bleeding (hematemesis, hematochezia, melena)

Associated with angiodysplasia, hemorrhoids, portal hypertension, ulcer

Surgical hemostasis, blood transfusion, replacement therapy, desmopressin, or antifibrinolytic

No bleeding in at least two extractions

None performed or no bleed in one extraction

Bleeding noted in < 25% of all procedures

Bleeding noted in > 25% of all procedures, but no intervention

Blood transfusion, replacement therapy, or desmopressin

No bleeding in at least two surgeries

None performed or no bleeding in one surgery

Bleeding noted in < 25% of all procedures

Bleeding noted in > 25% of all procedures, but no intervention

Surgical hemostasis or antifibrinolytic

Blood transfusion, replacement therapy, or desmopressin

Antifibrinolytics, pill use

Dilatation and curettage, iron therapy

Blood transfusion, replacement therapy, desmopressin, or hysterectomy

No bleeding in at least two deliveries

No deliveries or no bleeding in one delivery

Dilatation and curettage, iron therapy, antifibrinolytics

Blood transfusion, replacement therapy, or desmopressin

Spontaneous or traumatic, requiring desmopressin or replacement therapy

Spontaneous or traumatic, requiring surgical intervention or blood transfusion

Spontaneous or traumatic, requiring desmopressin or replacement therapy

Spontaneous or traumatic, requiring surgical intervention or blood transfusion

Central nervous system bleeding

Subdural, any intervention

Intracerebral, any intervention

note: This bleeding score system has not been prospectively validated .

*— Implies that a referral was made to a specialist for bleeding, but that no treatment was administered .

Adapted with permission from Tosetto A, Rodeghiero F, Castaman G, et al. A quantitative analysis of bleeding symptoms in type 1 von Willebrand disease: results for a multicenter European study (MCMDM-1 VWD). J Thromb Haemost. 20064(4):768 .

Bleeding Score System for Evaluation of Bleeding History

No or trivial (< 5 episodes per year)

> 5 episodes per year or lasts > 10 minutes

Packing, cauterization, or antifibrinolytic

Blood transfusion, replacement therapy, or desmopressin (DDAVP)

Cutaneous (bruises, petechia, subcutaneous hematoma)

No or trivial (< 5 episodes per year)

> 5 episodes per year or lasts > 5 minutes

Blood transfusion, replacement therapy, or desmopressin

Oral cavity (bleeding gums [spontaneous or with brushing], bites to lip and tongue, tooth eruption)

Bleeding noted at least once

Surgical hemostasis or antifibrinolytic

Blood transfusion, replacement therapy, or desmopressin

Gastrointestinal bleeding (hematemesis, hematochezia, melena)

Associated with angiodysplasia, hemorrhoids, portal hypertension, ulcer

Surgical hemostasis, blood transfusion, replacement therapy, desmopressin, or antifibrinolytic

No bleeding in at least two extractions

None performed or no bleed in one extraction

Bleeding noted in < 25% of all procedures

Bleeding noted in > 25% of all procedures, but no intervention

Blood transfusion, replacement therapy, or desmopressin

No bleeding in at least two surgeries

None performed or no bleeding in one surgery

Bleeding noted in < 25% of all procedures

Bleeding noted in > 25% of all procedures, but no intervention

Surgical hemostasis or antifibrinolytic

Blood transfusion, replacement therapy, or desmopressin

Antifibrinolytics, pill use

Dilatation and curettage, iron therapy

Blood transfusion, replacement therapy, desmopressin, or hysterectomy

No bleeding in at least two deliveries

No deliveries or no bleeding in one delivery

Dilatation and curettage, iron therapy, antifibrinolytics

Blood transfusion, replacement therapy, or desmopressin

Spontaneous or traumatic, requiring desmopressin or replacement therapy

Spontaneous or traumatic, requiring surgical intervention or blood transfusion

Spontaneous or traumatic, requiring desmopressin or replacement therapy

Spontaneous or traumatic, requiring surgical intervention or blood transfusion

Central nervous system bleeding

Subdural, any intervention

Intracerebral, any intervention

note: This bleeding score system has not been prospectively validated .

*— Implies that a referral was made to a specialist for bleeding, but that no treatment was administered .

Adapted with permission from Tosetto A, Rodeghiero F, Castaman G, et al. A quantitative analysis of bleeding symptoms in type 1 von Willebrand disease: results for a multicenter European study (MCMDM-1 VWD). J Thromb Haemost. 20064(4):768 .

Diagnosis of von Willebrand's Disease Using the Bleeding Score

note: This table is based on a 5 percent pretest probability .

*— Likelihood ratio with a 95% confidence interval .

Adapted with permission from Tosetto A, Rodeghiero F, Castaman G, et al. A quantitative analysis of bleeding symptoms in type 1 von Willebrand disease: results for a multicenter European study (MCMDM-1 VWD). J Thromb Haemost. 20064(4):771 .

Diagnosis of von Willebrand's Disease Using the Bleeding Score

note: This table is based on a 5 percent pretest probability .

*— Likelihood ratio with a 95% confidence interval .

Adapted with permission from Tosetto A, Rodeghiero F, Castaman G, et al. A quantitative analysis of bleeding symptoms in type 1 von Willebrand disease: results for a multicenter European study (MCMDM-1 VWD). J Thromb Haemost. 20064(4):771 .

A positive family history increases the risk of a bleeding disorder and is reason to initiate a work-up,10 , 11 especially in women with menorrhagia.12 Many bleeding disorders have an inheritance pattern, including the X-linked recessive hemophilias. Family history is especially important in children because they may not have had the opportunity to experience a hemostatic challenge (e.g., surgery, delivery, tooth extraction). In a study of children referred to a tertiary care center with either a personal or family history of bleeding, a positive family history was significantly associated with a diagnosis of a bleeding disorder.10

The patient in case study one who had a history of bruising and bleeding after tooth extraction would have a bleeding score of at least 4 (epistaxis: 1 bruising: 1 and tooth extraction: 2). This score, coupled with his family history of menorrhagia in the mother and sister, creates a high index of suspicion for a bleeding disorder, even before any laboratory testing is obtained.

The bleeding score system assigns a negative number if there is no significant bleeding after a hemostatic challenge. The importance of the “negative history” is illustrated by the woman in case study two who had bruising on her upper thigh (score: 1) an appendectomy and tubal ligation without a significant bleed (score: 𢄡) two vaginal deliveries without a significant bleed (score: 𢄡) and no other bleeding symptoms (score: 0). This gives her a total bleeding score of 𢄡.

As illustrated in case study three, a patient may have a low bleeding score and a negative family history, but still present with physical examination findings suggestive of a bleeding disorder. Pertinent physical examination findings of bleeding and bruising disorders are listed in the second column of Table 1 .

Table 5 4 – 6 lists medications that cause bleeding or bruising. The physician should not rule out a bleeding disorder just because a patient is receiving one of these medications, especially if the patient has a high bleeding score. Medications may cause the disease to manifest itself with bleeding symptoms, as illustrated in case study one.

Medications That Cause Bleeding and Bruising

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

Information from references 4 through 6 .

Medications That Cause Bleeding and Bruising

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

Information from references 4 through 6 .


Fact vs. fiction in 'The Goldfinch': The real Dutch painting's remarkable, tragic story

Oakes Fegley and Ansel Elgort play young Theo Decker over two periods in his life following the death of his beloved mother in "The Goldfinch." USA TODAY

First, importantly, "The Goldfinch" painting that serves as the title and centerpiece of the new movie (in theaters Friday) really does exist. And Dutch painter Carel Fabritius' masterpiece is fine.

The painting was never involved in a 20th-century terrorist explosion, nor pilfered from the resulted rubble, as depicted in Donna Tartt's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "The Goldfinch," which has been faithfully adapted to the screen by director John Crowley.

But art historians believe the 1654 oil painting survived its own devastating explosion that same year, a blast that killed its painter, a tragedy alluded to in the film.

On Oct. 12, 1654, the young Fabritius was living in the western Netherlands town of Delft when a gunpowder warehouse exploded after a worker inspected the area with a lantern. The talented student of Rembrandt was one of the victims, as were most of his paintings.

Does 'The Goldfinch' stand up? Read our review

"The Goldfinch" painting is central to the novel of the same name, which is now a movie. (Photo: MAURITSHUIS/THE HAGUE)

"The explosion destroyed a quarter of the town," says Victoria Sancho Lobis, curator of the upcoming exhibition "Rubens, Rembrandt and Drawing in the Golden Age," opening Sept. 28 at the Art Institute of Chicago. "The idea of (an explosion) taking place in a museum echoes the end of life for the painter that created 'The Goldfinch.'"

"The Goldfinch" remains on permanent display at the Mauritshuis in The Hague, Netherlands, where it was moved to a larger gallery after Tartt's book. Boris de Munnick, a press and publicity officer at the museum, says the work's popularity with visitors (especially American visitors) can be gauged by the quantity of "Goldfinch"-themed merchandise in the gift shop, which has risen from one item to 40.

The painting, featuring the domestic bird held by a small chain, offers a compelling look at the artist's prodigious talent. He signed the 13-by-9-inch piece proudly in large letters.


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Contents

Designed as a halo car, the One-77 is currently the fastest road car made by Aston Martin due to being capable of reaching 220 mph (354 km/h) as top speed. It also introduced other automotive superlatives such as one of the world's most powerful naturally aspirated engines and a monocoque chassis made in carbon fiber.

As indicated by its name, the One-77 was available in a limited production run of 77 cars until 2012.

The One-77 is based on a highly rigid carbon fibre monocoque chassis powered by a front mid-mounted 7.3 litre V12 engine with 750 hp (559 kW) and 553 ft·lb (750 N·m) of torque. Coupled with a six-speed paddle shift gearbox, it only needs 3.5 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) and 6.9 seconds for accelerating from 0 to 100 mph (161 km/h).

Its suspension utilises technology derived from racing cars such as a double wishbone suspension on both axles with pushrod-actuated coil springs, adjustable dampers and hydraulic anti-roll bars.

The Forza series features the One-77 with a kerb weight of 3307 lb (1500 kg) although the latter was officially changed by Aston Martin to 3593 lb (1630 kg) upon its real life introduction. ΐ] Α]


Donna Tartt on The Goldfinch, Inspiration, and the Perils of Literary Fame

From the T&C archive: The author on her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, which has now been made into a movie.

This story originally appeared in the November, 2013 issue of Town & Country.

She doesn&rsquot tweet. She has never uploaded a selfie onto Instagram. You can&rsquot friend her on Facebook. Even a Google image search for candid shots of her at book parties or glamorous gatherings is futile. She&rsquos not blogging about what she ate for breakfast or reviewing her contemporaries&rsquo novels or dispensing glowing blurbs to grace fellow authors&rsquo book jackets. She does not court publicity, and she most certainly does not want to be a celebrity. In other words, Donna Tartt does not play the game.

I&rsquom a bit of a lone wolf. My desk is where the real work happens.

And yet she is one of the most revered writers among a generation that tweets and blogs and posts and likes and photographs nearly everything. A relic in an era of no secrets, when any press is good press, Tartt&mdashwith the exception of the rare interview strongly encouraged by her publisher on the eve of the release of her third book, an engrossing 784-page novel called The Goldfinch that her fans have spent a decade waiting for&mdashlets her work speak for itself.

Which, while unsatisfying for those fans, makes it clear that her success comes from nothing other than her skill as a good old-fashioned storyteller, from her ability to spin sprawling, majestic books dappled with historical and literary references, textured with vivid and haunting atmospheric detail, and rich in insight into rarefied worlds. And just because she doesn&rsquot engage in social media doesn&rsquot mean she doesn&rsquot benefit from it. &ldquoJust finished Donna Tartt&rsquos amazing new novel,&rdquo Jay McInerney recently tweeted. &ldquoHighly recommended. Watch for the morphine lollipop.&rdquo

The diminutive Tartt met me in the lobby of the Soho Grand, where she often stays when she&rsquos in New York&mdashshe splits her time between the city and her &ldquodacha&rdquo in rural Virginia&mdashand was warmly greeted by the staff, who clearly know and like her. I had expected the press-shy author to be skittish and aloof, but she was friendly and outgoing, and I got no sense that she dreaded spending an hour and a half chatting with a journalist over tea and toast.

It actually felt like meeting an old friend from college, not the writer of The Secret History, which happens to be my all-time favorite book, and her rumored reticence and dislike of interviews were quickly explained. &ldquoI&rsquom a bit of a lone wolf,&rdquo the 49-year-old Tartt says in a Southern lilt, her green eyes shining and her porcelain skin flawless. &ldquoI don&rsquot give interviews or do publicity unless I have a book out&mdashtoo distracting. My desk is where the real work happens.&rdquo

The key to her books, she insists, can&rsquot be found in her, anyway. &ldquoI don&rsquot think it&rsquos a good idea for a writer to psychoanalyze herself or try to explain why she writes what she writes&mdashit&rsquos a reductive way of looking at oneself and one&rsquos work. Readers really participate in the writing of a book. As a writer I&rsquom giving the reader signs to help create the story with me. The reader is bringing his or her own memories, intelligence, preconceptions, prejudices, likes, dislikes. So the characters in your copy of the book are going to look and sound different than in mine. I have my own ideas, but once the book is out there it&rsquos not really mine anymore, and my own idea isn&rsquot any more valid than yours. And then I begin the long process of disengaging.&rdquo

For Tartt&rsquos fans, disengaging from her books is almost impossible, and all the more so because, so far, she publishes just once every decade and disappears in between. It all started with The Secret History, a 524-page tome that was released in an era when slim fiction was popular and publishers weren&rsquot quite sure what to do with a lengthy manuscript peppered with classical references.

It was 1992, and the 28-year-old Tartt had finally finished the novel&mdashabout a group of five students at a fictional Vermont college who were complicit in the murder of a friend&mdashwhich she had started while a student at Bennington College. A mysterious and haunting psychological thriller, it captures the various ways a person can unravel. &ldquoIt took Donna years to complete the manuscript, but selling it happened in inverse ratio,&rdquo says her agent, Amanda Urban. &ldquoIt was immediately clear that she&rsquod written a groundbreaking novel and, I&rsquom happy to say, one that has stood the test of time. The Secret History has become a classic.&rdquo

Tartt was raised in Grenada, Mississippi, about 100 miles south of Memphis. She grew up with her mother, sister, and grandparents (she was estranged from her father) her family had been among the first settlers in the town. While the novels indicate an intimacy with certain kinds of privilege, Tartt says she did not have a fancy upbringing.

&ldquoSouthern families, if they&rsquore old, they&rsquore not fancy, because most have no money,&rdquo she says. &ldquoTo be an old family in the South means your plantation burned down and you lost all your money. It&rsquos kind of like being a Polish aristocrat.&rdquo

Unlike in most Southern families at the time, the women in her family worked there are several librarians in the family tree, Tartt&rsquos mother was a statistician, and her grandmother, after various careers, became a nurse in her fifties. Tartt always knew she would be a writer. &ldquoAs soon as I understood that books were manufactured objects and not magical emanations issuing directly from Oz or whatever, I started trying to illustrate my own books on stapled construction paper.&rdquo

She credits 19th-century novels with teaching her how to write, and she lists Dickens, Stevenson, Conrad, Wodehouse, and Nabokov among her favorite authors. She declines to name her favorite living writers&mdashthat, she insists, would be &ldquogossipy.&rdquo She spent a year at the University of Mississippi&rsquos Oxford campus, and while she was there her writing caught the attention of the writer and editor Willie Morris, who advised her to transfer to Bennington, which was renowned for its writing program.

There, Tartt immediately hit it off with fellow student Bret Easton Ellis over their mutual love of Joan Didion, and Ellis ultimately introduced her to Urban, who represented him. The Secret History took Tartt a decade to write, garnered her a reputed $450,000 advance, briskly sold out its initial print run of 75,000, and went on to be published in 30 languages.

&ldquoIt was that rare debut: a book taking on grand themes&mdashtruth versus beauty&mdashbrave enough to open with a tell&mdasha murder&mdashand peopled with an unforgettable cast of characters and an especially resonant sense of place,&rdquo says Paul Bogaards, an executive vice president at Knopf who has been with the publishing house for nearly 25 years. &ldquoWe positioned it as a bestseller from the outset, and the response from booksellers and readers was immediate.&rdquo

The movie rights were sold again and again: Tartt&rsquos hero Didion and her husband John Gregory Dunne took a crack at a draft Gwyneth Paltrow and her brother Jake had a go Ethan Hawke was rumored to be attached at one point. But despite never making it to the big screen&mdashsomething of a phenomenon in this day and age&mdashthe book has kept selling, the fan base keeps growing, and Tartt&rsquos status as a cult writer has never wavered. (Her second book, The Little Friend, which took place in Tartt&rsquos home state and told the tale of a young girl who is haunted by the murder of her brother almost a decade prior, was published in 2002.)

Tartt consents to reveal a bit about her process, which is layered with elaborate stages of research, one of the reasons it takes her so long to produce her books. &ldquoThe mood is important to me first. With The Little Friend, even before the story took shape, there was that dark, dank Mississippi mood. And The Secret History was much the same: It began for me with winter, cold. Moving from Mississippi to Vermont was a big change for me Vermont was a haunting, snowy place. That part of the state&rdquo&mdashthe area around the Bennington campus&mdash&ldquois a little eerie and uncanny.&rdquo

Tartt logs months and years inside libraries, and visits and revisits the places her books are set in. She has a notebook on her at all times, so she can write down little bits of overheard conversation. She keeps an elaborate filing system of descriptions and dialogue that she can draw on whenever she might need to. &ldquoSome rainy morning when I need a character,&rdquo she says, &ldquoI can go back to central casting and find one.&rdquo

Her new book, The Goldfinch, is her most ambitious undertaking. &ldquoThe process was different in that it was three places&mdashPark Avenue, Las Vegas, and Amsterdam&mdashthat dictated the story, and it takes place over a much longer span of time,&rdquo Tartt says. The Goldfinch follows 14-year-old Theo Decker as he oscillates between high society and the seedy underbelly of the antiques and art world&rsquos black market.

The painting that inspired the title is a 1654 work by Carel Fabritius, who was one of Rembrandt&rsquos most outstanding pupils and who died at age 32 in an explosion at a Delft powder magazine only 15 of his works exist today. In the novel Theo takes possession of the painting after a terrorist attack at the Metropolitan Museum of Art kills his mother and sets his life on a traumatic course.

&ldquoI wanted to write about Amsterdam, but I wasn&rsquot quite sure what I wanted to write. And for a long time, ever since Secret History, I&rsquod had it in my mind that I wanted to evoke a creepy, spoiled&mdashin the sense of airless, insular, and damaged&mdashPark Avenue mood. That was interesting to me. Oddly, what made it come together for me was a trip to Las Vegas that I didn&rsquot want to go on. The hotel I was staying in had an art exhibition&mdashI think it was Impressionist&mdashand it made the story take shape. Art, money, Vegas. Somehow it all came together in my mind&mdashthe trajectory of the story,&rdquo Tartt says. &ldquoIt&rsquos a good lesson: Do things you don&rsquot necessarily think you&rsquore going to like. I didn&rsquot like Las Vegas necessarily but it unlocked my book.&rdquo

The image of Tartt as a reclusive Southern writer in the vein of Harper Lee is appealing to fans, but she insists that she does have a social life. She sees movies with friends when she needs a break from writing, she&rsquos still pals with Ellis (although she doesn&rsquot see him often, because he&rsquos mostly in L.A. and she never goes there), and she has been a guest at several of Didion&rsquos holiday parties.

Still, there is an undeniably secretive, enigmatic quality to Tartt, something almost otherworldy. She acknowledges this, and perhaps fosters it a bit, noting that she finished her first two books on the same date&mdashApril 24&mdashexactly 10 years apart, and that was also the date she chose to kill off the main character in her first book.

She says she knows she&rsquos on the right track toward a completed novel when all sorts of strange coincidences start taking place. The latest such coincidence is that Fabritius&rsquos Goldfinch is coming to the Frick Collection, in New York City, from its home in the Mauritshuis, in the Hague, for its first United States visit in 10 years. The exhibition, it turns out, opens on October 22, the pub date of Tartt&rsquos book.

After completing a small handful of interviews to promote it&mdashthe first she&rsquos done in a decade&mdashTartt no doubt will again disappear. &ldquoOnce The Goldfinch is safely out in the world and established, I will leave it out there to fend for itself,&rdquo she says, &ldquoand go back to my desk.&rdquo


Fordham was built by Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, United States. She was launched on 3 January 1930. [1] The ship was built for F. J. O&aposHara & Sons, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts. [2] Fordham was acquired by the United States Navy on 19 September 1940. [1] She was converted to a minesweeper at Bethlehem Atlantic Yard, Boston, and commissioned at Boston Navy Yard 30 January 1941, Lt. Comdr. W. R. McCaleb in command. [2]

World War II service

Goldfinch was first assigned to Inshore Patrol Force, 1st Naval District, then shifted her operations to Chesapeake Bay, where she conducted minesweeping operations off Norfolk and Yorktown, Virginia. Reporting to Newport, Rhode Island, 1 July, Goldfinch joined Squadron 9 for minesweeping operations ranging from Argentia, Newfoundland, to Norfolk. She became flagship of the Squadron 29 September at Portland, Maine. [2]

Transferred to duty in Newfoundland, Goldfinch based her operations during the period 1 December 1942 to May 1944 at Fort McAndrew and Argentia, Newfoundland, constantly patrolling for mines to protect merchant shipping and warships alike as they plied those waters. [2]

Decommissioning

She arrived Boston June 1944 for conversion to civilian use as a commercial trawler and decommissioned 18 August 1944. Delivered to the Maritime Commission, Goldfinch was sold 9 January 1946 to the Norwegian Shipping and Trade Commission of New York. [2]

Post-war service

She reverted to her original name of Fordham. In 1949, she was renamed Titus. In 1962, [1] she was sold to Christensen Canadian Enterprises, [3] renamed Beater, [1] and placed under the management of Karlson Shipping. The Code Letters VOXF were allocated. Her port of registry was St. John&aposs, Newfoundland. Beater was used in the sealing trade. On 7 October 1962, she was wrecked at New Harbour, Nova Scotia, Canada by Hurricane Daisy. [3]


American Goldfinch

The brightly colored male American goldfinch is especially recognizable. The American regularly visits seed feeders, particularly in the east. It is often very gregarious, especially during the nonbreeding season, when it flocks to roadsides and brushy fields to feed on thistle and sunflowers. It is often heard in flight, giving distinct flight calls. Polytypic (4 named ssp. differences slight). Length 5".

A relatively large carduelid. Breeding male: unmistakable. Body entirely bright lemon yellow with white undertail coverts. Jet black cap. Black wings with yellow lesser coverts and narrow white tips to greater coverts, forming 2 white wing bars along with white edging to the tertials. White inner webs to most of the tail feathers. Pink, conical bill. Breeding female: very different from male. Underparts very yellow with white undertail coverts, while upperparts, including head, olive green. Lower wing bar buffy and quite wide. Tail feathers with white tips and inner webs. Bill pinkish. Winter male: cinnamon brown above and on breast and flanks, with white lower belly and undertail coverts, yellowish wash on throat and face, and muted black on forehead. Wings more boldly patterned. Yellow lesser coverts. Wide, whitish lower wing bar. Bill darker than in breeding season. Winter female: mostly drab gray body with black wings and 2 bold buffy wing bars. White undertail coverts and edging to tail feathers. Dark bill. Immature male: black on forehead reduced or lacking. Lesser coverts duller. Juvenile: resembles adult female. Unstreaked.

The male is unlike any other finch in North America the Wilson’s warbler is the only other bright yellow species with a black cap, but it does not have the finchlike bill or the bold wing pattern of the American. All other plumages can be separated from the lesser goldfinch by their bolder wing pattern and white undertail coverts. The female Lawrence’s goldfinch is gray like a nonbreeding adult female American, but note the American’s wider, buffier wing bars and different pattern of white in tail. The call notes of the American are very distinct from those of the Lesser and the Lawrence’s.

Call: various, including per-chik-o-ree or a descending ti-di-di-di given mainly in flight. Song: a long series of musical phrases, often repeated randomly similar to the lesser. Not known to mimic other species.

Status and Distribution

Common throughout much of United States and southern Canada. Breeding: a variety of habitats, from weedy fields to open second growth woodland, and along riparian corridors, particularly in the West. Does not breed over much of southern third of United States. Winter: populations from northern third of breeding range migrate to southern United States and Mexico, augmenting resident populations throughout middle section of the United States.


Watch the video: Raphael, Madonna of the Goldfinch