Donna Tartt’s Typewritten
Valedictorian Speech

The True History Before The Secret History

November 3, 2015  By Literary Hub
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Donna Tartt’s literary stardom began with 1992’s The Secret History, a literary murder mystery of sorts set at the fictional Hampden College, a rough stand-in for Vermont’s Bennington College, where Tartt shared classrooms with the likes of fellow writers Bret Easton Ellis and Jonathan Lethem. With that legacy in mind, Bennington recently launched Literary Bennington (aka Lit Ben!), which looks back at the rich history of the writing life at Bennington College (while keeping an eye on what the future holds). Literary Bennington recently unearthed the typewritten transcript of Donna Tartt’s 1986 graduation speech, which reflects upon her years at the college that inspired her breakout success.

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  • Sandy Perlmutter

    It’s true — we never leave Bennington, and it never leaves us. I was there only three years (and graduated, 1963); but my exam-in-subject-never-taken lost-looking-for-dorm-room nightmares are Bennington. The First Cellist in my orchestra is a Bennington alumna, Martha Siegel. There is no escape!



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