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The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Modern classics

The Secret History

by Donna Tartt

Quick take

A murder mystery about a group of classicists at a small New England college and a page-turner that makes reference as easily to T. S. Eliot as it does to TV and fast food.

Why I love it

Writers, against all reason (and whatever we pretend), are competitive creatures. And so when _Vanity Fair_ assigned me, in the spring of 1992, to profile the author of that fall's big, hot novel, a first novel that had fetched an advance of close to a million dollars, my initial reaction, as a recent first-novelist myself who had garnered some moderately good reviews and sold a couple of thousand...

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