This week our latest book, Gatsby’s Girls, has been in the news. On Tuesday (May 7), CBS Morning News interviewed Saturday Evening Post Historian Jeff Nilsson about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s long and lucrative relationship with the Post. The magazine published over 60 of Fitzgerald’s short stories (See Nilsson’s article) , eight of which are included in Gatsby Girls and, like The Great Gatsby’s Daisy, were inspired Fitzgerald’s wife Zelda.
USA Today gave readers five reasons why The Great Gatsby embodies the American dream and spirit. As part of the article, they also interviewed Nilsson:
“It’s the Great American Dream,” says Jeff Nilsson. Between 1920 and 1937, the magazine published 68 of Fitzgerald’s short stories, and has just issued a collection called F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Gatsby’s Girls featuring the first eight stories in book form. “It is the story that if you work hard enough, you can succeed.”
Leading Fitzgerald scholar James L. W. West III agrees. He calls The Great Gatsby “a national scripture. It embodies the American spirit, the American will to reinvent oneself.”
West says it is no coincidence that The Great Gatsby is probably the American novel most often taught in the rest of the world. “It is our novel, how we present ourselves. … He captured and distilled the essence of the American spirit.”
Yet Gatsby also explores the dream’s destructive power. “Americans pay a great price for that dream,” says Nilsson. Read the Article