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The moral duty of the author

21 October 2002

'Death drives everything. One of my Greek teachers said we have one true task, and that is learning how to die. But who am I to give lessons? There are no real messages in my fiction. The first duty of the novelist is to entertain. It is a moral duty. People who read your books are sick, sad, traveling, in the hospital waiting room while someone is dying. Books are written by the alone for the alone.'

Donna Tartt, author of The Little Friend, in USA Today