Pulitzer Book Club Inclusion Guide
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"The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt
• Mo'ne Davis first Little League World Series girl shutout pitcher
• America’s first marijuana stores open in Colorado
• First ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Donna Tartt attended an art school in NYC briefly after college and discovered her talent was writing. Tartt began work on The Goldfinch in Amsterdam twenty years before the novel was published.
Diana Dyer, Southern Pines, NC
LISTEN , LISTEN to the silent young adult. Listen to the elderly, the less fortunate.
"Do not squander time trying to 'fix' everything. Build a kinder, gentler world for those who are struggling.
Be present. Be kind. In The Goldfinch the Inclusion/Exclusion struggles and battles are within, dominate lives. Childhood trauma, loss of Innocence and addiction led to a blurred sense of Good vs Evil."
Diana’s Inclusive Cause: Feeding America https://www.feedingamerica.org/
NYC teen with stolen master painting, BFF, drugs, and trouble
Boris and Popchix the Maltese reunite in NYC
The Goldfinch is in fact a masterpiece by Fabritius that survived an explosion, but the explosion happened when a gunpowder warehouse blew up in Delft, Netherlands in 1654.
Epically long 784 pages or 32+ audio hours of bad stuff happening is binge-inducing
Nurture the young. Bad situations trigger bad behavior. Stealing, drugs, and truancy are symptoms of food insecurity, lack of supervision, loneliness, boredom, and PTSD.
Money, addiction, and mental health are the boundaries here. Fathers are dysfunctional and abusive; mothers are dead; the system that doesn’t address children in trouble. Schools and NYC are tribal, Vegas corrupted, Amsterdam is a crime scene. Rich antique shoppers with stupid money are exploited. Criminals treat priceless cultural resources as drug collateral.
Plan A: Laugh hilariously and enjoy canned veggies when you discover your turkey breast is rancid. Plan B: Make Praznyky – Polish Christmas Eve dinner served when the star of Bethlehem appears. Plan C: Your druggie dad tells you to refrigerate the meal that took all day to prepare and takes you to a fancy restaurant on the Las Vegas strip.
“Good doesn’t always follow from good deeds, nor bad deeds result from bad, does it? Even the wise and good cannot see the end of all actions.”
A deserted playground, your parent’s house when they’re out somewhere giving no thought to you, or a room filled with antiques.
How do people react to Boris and why?
What kinds of relationships does Theo have?
Compare portrayals of: antique collectors and art trafficker mobsters; the social workers and the Barbour parents; public school and private school; and NYC, Las Vegas, and Amsterdam.
How and why does art connect people?
Take a hard pass on Vegas and any bus trip involving a hidden dog. Instead, go to NYC and go antiquing in Greenwich Village, though Hobie’s store on West 10th Street doesn’t exist. Might as well go to MOMA and the Met where “The Goldfinch” was exhibited only in the film and The Frick which actually did exhibit “The Goldfinch” in 2013. Check out Central Park and Park Avenue where the Barbours lived. You can eat at an Elephant and Castle as Theo did with his mom or go to a Polish bar on Second Avenue in Little Poland.
"The Goldfinch" is on permanent display The Hague, Netherlands at the Mauritshuis. Other Fabritius paintings on public display are in Amsterdam, LA, London, Rotterdam, Schwerin, and Warsaw.
2019 film "The Goldfinch"
1992 “The Secret History”