“Maureen Corrigan has produced a minor miracle: a book about The Great Gatsby that stands up to Gatsby itself.”
“Corrigan’s research was as intrepid as her analysis is ardent and expert, and she brings fact, thought, feelings, and personal experiences together in a buoyant, illuminating, and affecting narrative about one depthless novel, the transforming art of reading, and the endless tides that tumble together life and literature.”
—Booklist (starred review)
“Corrigan…[is] right on the case, turning up fascinating and sometimes-controversial gems.”
“I am loving [Gastby] all over again as I read her wonderful, humane, and keen observations.”
“We have to be thankful to Maureen Corrigan for letting us in on her intriguing love affairs with great books, as in this wonderful account of her grand passion.”
—Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran and The Republic of Imagination
“Forget great. The Great Gatsby is the greatest—even if you didn’t think so when you had to read it in high school. I didn’t think so back then either.” So begins SO WE READ ON (Little, Brown; September 9, 2014), Maureen Corrigan’s irresistibly engaging, acutely insightful examination of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece—“the Great American Novel we think we’ve read but probably haven’t.”
Conceived nearly a century ago by a man who died believing himself a failure, The Great Gatsby is now universally revered, and reading it is a rite of passage for millions. But how well do we really know this beloved classic? As Fresh Air critic, Georgetown professor, and Gatsby lover extraordinaire Corrigan adeptly 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.
With SO WE READ ON, Corrigan offers a fresh perspective on what makes Gatsby great—and utterly unusual—juxtaposing a close reading of the text with a fascinating investigation of Fitzgerald’s personal history, his relationships, and his possible motivations for narrative choices. Readers will delight in joining Corrigan on a journey to rediscover the worlds of West and East Egg—from high school classrooms to a fact-finding mission on Long Island Sound, from Corrigan’s childhood home in Queens, New York, to her trek across the country teaching a Great Books course on this great(est) of American novels.
From her stunningly clear interpretations of the imagery throughout the book (hint: the most pervasive symbol in Gatsby is not what you think it is), to her thought-provoking observations about Gatsby’s commentaries on race, class, and gender, Corrigan offers a newly captivating take on this well-known story. With rigor, wit, and infectious enthusiasm, Corrigan inspires us to reexperience the greatness of Gatsby and cuts to the heart of why we are, as a culture, “borne back ceaselessly” into its thrall.