The Great Gatsby

1925 novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Great Gatsby is a 1925 novel by American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald. Set in the Jazz Age on Long Island, near New York City, the novel depicts first-person narrator Nick Carraway's interactions with mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and Gatsby's obsession to reunite with his former lover, Daisy Buchanan.

Quick facts: Author, Cover artist, Country, Language,...
The Great Gatsby
The front dust jacket art with title against a dark sky. Beneath the title are lips and two eyes, looming over a city.
The front dust jacket art of the first edition
AuthorF. Scott Fitzgerald
Cover artistFrancis Cugat
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
GenreTragedy
PublishedApril 10, 1925
PublisherCharles Scribner's Sons
Media typePrint (hardcover & paperback)
Preceded byThe Beautiful and Damned (1922) 
Followed byTender Is the Night (1934) 
TextThe Great Gatsby at Wikisource
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The novel was inspired by a youthful romance Fitzgerald had with socialite Ginevra King, and the riotous parties he attended on Long Island's North Shore in 1922. Following a move to the French Riviera, Fitzgerald completed a rough draft of the novel in 1924. He submitted it to editor Maxwell Perkins, who persuaded Fitzgerald to revise the work over the following winter. After making revisions, Fitzgerald was satisfied with the text, but remained ambivalent about the book's title and considered several alternatives. Painter Francis Cugat's dust jacket art greatly impressed Fitzgerald, and he incorporated its imagery into the novel.

After its publication by Scribner's in April 1925, The Great Gatsby received generally favorable reviews, though some literary critics believed it did not equal Fitzgerald's previous efforts. Compared to his earlier novels, This Side of Paradise (1920) and The Beautiful and Damned (1922), the novel was a commercial disappointment. It sold fewer than 20,000 copies by October, and Fitzgerald's hopes of a monetary windfall from the novel were unrealized. When the author died in 1940, he believed himself to be a failure and his work forgotten.

During World War II, the novel experienced an abrupt surge in popularity when the Council on Books in Wartime distributed free copies to American soldiers serving overseas. This new-found popularity launched a critical and scholarly re-examination, and the work soon became a core part of most American high school curricula and a part of American popular culture. Numerous stage and film adaptations followed in the subsequent decades.

Gatsby continues to attract popular and scholarly attention. Scholars emphasize the novel's treatment of social class, inherited versus self-made wealth, gender, race, and environmentalism, and its cynical attitude towards the American Dream. The Great Gatsby is widely considered to be a literary masterpiece and a contender for the title of the Great American Novel.

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