So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It EnduresSo We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures by Maureen Corrigan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Next year, I’ll be teaching The Great Gatsby again after a long hiatus, and while I’ve never stopped loving the book itself, I’ve been a little intimidated at the idea of getting back into the swing of it, especially since I’ll be teaching it with eleventh graders, alongside such heavyweights as Beloved and Hamlet.

Luckily, So We Read On came along at exactly the right time. Corrigan’s love for the book shines through on every page, but her witty sense of humor and keen intellectual curiosity make the book truly fascinating and a page-turner all at once. I found myself underlining key passages (on Gatsby‘s link to hard-boiled detective fiction, for example) and jotting down ideas in the margins (reading Keats, a favorite author of Fitzgerald’s, to better understand Daisy). Corrigan even travels back to her old high school in Astoria, Queens to find what I believe to be true as well; students still find different avenues into Gatsby’s world and uncover true insights there, into literature and themselves.

This was the first title on my personal summer reading list, and it’s set a great tone for the season of reading to come!

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