So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came To Be and Why It Endures
As an English professor, public speaker, and literary critic for an arts program on public radio, Maureen Corrigan is well qualified to take the general reader on a tour of one of the books most often shortlisted for the title of Great American Novel: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 classic The Great Gatsby. Corrigan, unsurprisingly, doesn’t have much new to say (what else is there new to say?), but she does provide a good overview of some of the major themes and motifs in the book while placing it in the context of the rest of Fitzgerald’s life and work. The emphasis is on showing how The Great Gatsby went from being a work of its time that failed to find much of an audience, to its current status as a novel that even people who don’t read have probably read: a cultural evolution that has as much to tell us about America and its vision of itself as the story of Gatsby does.