On its first publication in 1925, The Great Gatsby was largely dismissed as a light satire on Jazz Age follies. Today, it is acknowledged as a masterpiece: a love story, an exploration of the American dream and arguably the greatest American novel of the 20th century. Narrator Nick Carraway tells the story of his neighbour Jay Gatsby, whose parties at his Long Island mansion are as lavish as his past is mysterious. Yet Gatsby cares only for one of his guests: his lost love Daisy Buchanan, now married and living across the bay. In Fitzgerald’s hands, this deceptively simple story becomes a near-perfect work of art, told in hauntingly beautiful prose.
Michael Dirda, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The Washington Post, has written a new introduction for this edition. He writes, ‘While a great novel should possess many qualities, the most essential is certainly the ability to enchant, to cast a spell over the reader’ – an ability possessed in full by ‘this ever-fresh, this ceaselessly magical novel’. Our edition also features a two-page note by the director and screenwriter Francis Ford Coppola recalling his work on the 1974 film adaptation, in particular his ingenious solution to the lack of dialogue between Daisy and Gatsby in the original novel. Sam Wolfe Connelly, a young artist based in New York, has created a series of colour illustrations and the striking binding design. The metallic endpapers and slipcase are printed with a 1920s-inspired design by the artist.