Author(s): Sarah Churchwell
Since its publication in the spring of 1925, The Great Gatsby has become one of the recognized masterpieces of the twentieth century, beloved by readers across the world and regularly named one of the greatest novels ever written in English. Now comes a book which tells of the mayhem, and the surprising story behind the novel, exploring in newly rich detail the relation of Fitzgerald's masterpiece to the chaotic world he in which he lived. Careless People is a fascinating reconstruction of the crucial months during which Fitzgerald returned to New York in the autumn of 1922 - the parties, the drunken weekends at Great Neck, Long Island, the drives back into the city to the jazz clubs and speakeasies, the casual intersection of high society and organized crime and the growth of celebrity culture of which the Fitzgeralds themselves were the epitome. Combining elements of biography, social history, and for the first time a proper investigation of the high-profile murder which was a crucial source of inspiration for the deaths at the heart of the novel, Careless People is a passionately written and compelling story of the genesis of one of the twentieth century's greatest and most popular masterpieces.
A fascinating look at the autumn of 1922, when F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda returned to New York and the seeds for The Great Gatsby were sown
Sarah Churchwell is Professor of American Literature and Public Understanding of the Humanities at the University of East Anglia. She reviews widely.