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So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures

So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures

Price:$18.99

The “Fresh Air” book critic investigates the enduring power of The Great Gatsby — “The Great American Novel we all think we’ve read, but really haven’t.”

Conceived nearly a century ago by a man who died believing himself a failure, it’s now a revered classic and a rite of passage in the reading lives of millions. But how well do we really know The Great Gatsby? As Maureen Corrigan, Gatsby lover extraordinaire, points out, while Fitzgerald’s masterpiece may be one of the most popular novels in America, many of us first read it when we were too young to fully comprehend its power.

Offering a fresh perspective on what makes Gatsby great — and utterly unusual — So We Read On takes us into archives, high school classrooms, and even out onto the Long Island Sound to explore the novel’s hidden depths, a journey whose revelations include Gatsby ‘s surprising debt to hard-boiled crime fiction, its rocky path to recognition as a “classic,” and its profound commentaries on the national themes of race, class, and gender.

With rigor, wit, and infectious enthusiasm, Corrigan inspires us to re-experience the greatness of Gatsby and cuts to the heart of why we are, as a culture, “borne back ceaselessly” into its thrall. Along the way, she spins a new and fascinating story of her own.

About the Author

Maureen Corrigan, who will present at our 67th Annual Willa Cather Spring Conference, June 2-4, 2022, is the book critic for NPR’s Fresh Air, the Critic-in-Residence at Georgetown University, and winner of the Edgar Award for Criticism. She is the author of Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading (Random House, 2005).

Join us on Friday, June 3 for Corrigan's talk, "All the Glittering Prizes," 7:00-8:30 p.m. and followed by a book signing in the National Willa Cather Center Bookstore!


TRADE PAPERBACK / ISBN-13: 9780316230063

$18.99 | Little, Brown | Published: May 12, 2015 | Nonfiction / Literary Criticism | 368 pages


Reviews

"Maureen Corrigan has produced a minor miracle: a book about The Great Gatsby that stands up to Gatsby itself."―Michael Cunningham

"No one is better at bringing a book to life than Maureen Corrigan. Her vividly personal evocation of Fitzgerald and The Great Gatsby is at once a labor of love, the story of a quest, and a mother lode of information and insight. As a biography of a novel, it reads like a novel." ― Morris Dickstein, author of Gates of Eden and Dancing in the Dark

"Second only to the pleasure of re-reading Gatsby is the pleasure of talking to someone about it, and Maureen Corrigan is the ultimate someone: boundlessly erudite, blazingly funny, and infectiously passionate. . . . As with the book that inspired it, my only complaint about So We Read On is that it comes to an end."―Susan Choi, author of My Education

"As pleasurable to read as Fitzgerald's. ... It's smart and compelling, persuasive without demeaning other interpretations...a gorgeous treat."―The Washington Post