“Caring too much for objects can destroy you.”
So warns Donna Tartt in her Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Goldfinch.
The Goldfinch follows a boy named Theo after he experiences a terrorist attack at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The attack kills his mother, and in the confusing aftermath, Theo accidentally steals a painting called ‘The Goldfinch’ from the museum. From there, we follow Theo as he grows up, traveling from New York to Vegas and back to New York, all the while dealing with the grief of his mother’s death, the anxiety of possessing a stolen piece of art and the way the two mix to influence the course of his life.
This week on the MashReads Podcast, we read and discuss The Goldfinch, in all its almost 800-page glory.
Join us as we talk about writing about art, the difference between character and caricature, what Donna Tartt got right (and wrong) when writing about friendships and the real star of The Goldfinch.
Then, inspired by The Goldfinch we talk about our favorite non-YA coming of age stories including Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, The Magicians by Lev Grossman and The First Bad Man by Miranda July.
And as always, we end the show with recommendations.
Aliza recommends the Netflix adaptation of The Magicians. “Even at the points where I feel complicated about it, I like how it makes me think.” She also recommends Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng.
Peter recommends the Iranian horror movie Under The Shadow. “It was just a very affecting and very moving movie.”
MJ recommends Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. “When I finished reading this book, I immediately wanted to go re-read it again.”
Next week we will be reading Stephen King’s classic thriller The Shining.