The party was definitely over for Scott and Zelda. The gin-soaked, fountain-frolicking debauches had ended by the late 1930s with Zelda in a sanatorium and the once-celebrated author a broke and lonely screenplay writer struggling to make it in Hollywood. Laughably small royalty checks confirmed that Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, The Great Gatsby, was slipping towards obscurity. But old sports, and green lights, and the longing for the American Dream never die: Gatsby would rise again.
Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air critic and frequent Big Read lecturer, engagingly shares the story of Gatsby’s second life and so much more in her gorgeous love letter to The Great Gatsby, So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures. There could be no better guide through Gatsby-land than Corrigan who unabashedly adores the novel but never overwhelms the reader with esoteric literary criticism. So We Read On is an immensely readable mélange of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s life, his carefully conceived and intricately patterned novel, its critical reception, and her own changing perceptions and experiences with The Great Gatsby. From the iconic dust jacket, to the haunting imagery of the last paragraph, So We Read On is all things Gatsby.