Author Donna Tartt has been awarded this year’s Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her critically acclaimed third novel The Goldfinch. The Secret History author said she was “incredibly happy and incredibly honoured” by the award.

Tartt’s 784-page bestseller The Goldfinch, which was named Amazon’s 2013 book of the year, is set in modern Manhattan and tells the story of a young orphan coming to terms with the death of his mother. Columbia University, which awards the prize, said judges described it as “a beautifully written coming-of-age novel … that stimulates the mind and touches the heart. The book, which is in the running for this year’s Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction in the UK, beat two other nominees, The Son by Philip Meyer and The Woman Who Lost Her Soul by Bob Shacochis. Fans of Tartt had waited a decade since her second novel The Little Friend, which many had found disappointing after her strong 1992 debut The Secret History.

“The only thing I am sorry about is that Willie Morris and Barry Hannah aren’t here,” said Tartt, referring to two authors who were her early mentors. “They would have loved this,” she added. Last month it was reported by The Wrap that a film version or TV series of The Goldfinch is in the works, by the producers behind The Hunger Games. (via BBC)

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