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, The Great
Gatsby is 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. Download and start listening now!