Acclaimed writer Donna Tartt has been sending off some tart authorized letters to a podcast about her time at Bennington School, Web page Six has discovered.
Tartt’s lawyer despatched the terse letters in October and September, sources say, to the producers of “As soon as Upon a Time… at Bennington School” — which particulars Tartt’s time on the college, together with an allegedly gender-bending relationship along with her male muse, fellow pupil Paul McGloin.
The podcast — impressed by Lili Anolik’s 2019 Esquire piece, “The Secret Oral Historical past of Bennington: The Eighties’ Most Decadent School” — launched late final month, recounting the Vermont liberal arts college’s famed literary brat pack of destined-to-be-famous Gen X classmates, together with Pulitzer Prize-winner Tartt, “Much less Than Zero” writer Bret Easton Ellis, and MacArthur “Genius” Jonathan Lethem.
The podcast additionally consists of alleged tales about a few of the school’s celebrity college, together with Camille Paglia.
However Tartt, 57, the writer of “The Secret Historical past” and “The Goldfinch,” appears decided to maintain her college days behind her.
Her literary brokers, RCW in London, have additionally apparently requested Apple to take down the podcast, alleging that it infringes on their rights.
The letters from Tartt’s lawyer aren’t filed authorized paperwork, however merely warn the podcast’s creators to not use any “false, deceptive or in any other case inaccurate assertion” about Tartt that could possibly be made by friends, sources advised Web page Six.
One other letter warns in opposition to utilizing any of Tartt’s printed works with out permission, or any of her personal college data. Tartt’s legal professional, and her company, didn’t reply to quite a few requests for touch upon Wednesday.
McGloin has additionally lawyered up, we hear.
Once we reached out for remark, podcast host Anolik advised us in a press release: “All I do know is that Donna gave a well mannered decline when requested to take part within the podcast. Then my producer began listening to from her lawyer and from her writer’s legal professionals.”
She added: “My podcast is — a minimum of partly — about how Donna Tartt wrote the American model of ‘Brideshead Revisited,’ i.e., ‘The Secret Historical past,’ as a result of she was dwelling the American model of ‘Brideshead Revisited.’ Whereas at Bennington, she inhabited a world that was very moneyed, very louche, very sexually ambiguous. The podcast is sort of admiring of her, however it is usually fairly revealing of her.”
Nevertheless, the disagreement between the wordsmiths might solely be heating up.
Wednesday’s episode of the podcast, “Mississippi Chippy,” detailed Mississippi-born Tartt’s private life whereas she was a pupil at luxe Bennington, which reportedly impressed her first e-book, the legendary ’90s tome, “The Secret Historical past.”
In line with the podcast, Tartt started an unusually shut relationship with fellow pupil McGloin within the early ’80s. As one former classmate, Todd O’Neal, recollects, “It was a bit surreal as a result of… impulsively Donna grew to become like a small model of Paul. I can bear in mind very clearly sitting with Paul and Donna, and… Donna was there dressed similar to Paul. A blue blazer, a membership tie and a white shirt, and khakis… boy’s pants, not women. And hair on this funky little asexual bob. It was as if we have been three boys sitting there.”
The podcast episode goes on to allege that McGloin even referred to as Tartt by the nicknames, “Laddie” and “M’boy,” and that Tartt recalled, “the raciest factor ever” was once they have been mistaken for a homosexual male couple throughout a go to to the Nationwide Gallery in Washington, DC.
In Anolik’s phrases, the previous couple had a “Fantasy, mutual, or so it could appear… that they’re two boys in a romantic and sexual relationship,” and a “straight couple that maybe will get a bit jolt out of masquerading as a homosexual couple.”
One other former classmate within the podcast, referred to as solely “Scholar X,” alleges that she was dispatched by McGloin’s former girlfriend on the time to suss out his new relationship with Tartt.
The unnamed pupil wrote of their diary on the time of her novice investigation, based on the podcast, “[Paul] is in love with a ‘pleasant creature,’ a lady who seems to be like a bit boy, whose sexuality looks as if she needs to be handled like a gay man.”
The identical supply says that when she ultimately met Tartt, she was, “this tremendous candy tiny little factor … I do should say I went again a bit bit with my tail between my legs.”
The nameless classmate additionally recollects that she and her group referred to as Southern-born Tartt “the Missiissippi chippy” behind her again, and that, “Folks have been saying these bizarre issues about her… that she’s this powerhouse and she or he’s so sensible. Then this different factor, I don’t know why this filtered down… why anybody knew this, however simply that she in some way like, appreciated to have intercourse like a younger boy… I don’t know what meaning.”
The podcast episode additionally particulars a now-famous date that Easton went on with Tartt, which was beforehand lined within the Esquire piece, as was Tartt’s relationship with McGloin.