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Gatsby: Recommended Reading/Viewing

MAY 23, 2024

Want to learn more about the history and legacy of The Great Gatsby? This list features some of the publications and media that have inspired the creative team in their work on this production.

The cover of Careless People by Sarah Churchwell; the cover of This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald; the poster for the film The Last Tycoon.

Novels

  • F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise (1920): Fitzgerald’s semi-autobiographical debut novel, a bildungsroman which was lauded for its portrayal of the Jazz Age generation of wealthy, carefree American youth.
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned (1922): Another semi-autobiographical morality tale that follows the decline of a marriage after years of excess and partying, a husband and a wife ruining one another. Generally considered Fitzgerald’s worst novel.
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925): The Great American Novel itself. Read it to understand how A.R.T.’s Gatsby is in conversation with it.
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night (1934): Fitzgerald’s final novel, a crystallization of the themes he explores in The Great Gatsby and a semi-autobiographical take on the crumbling of a seemingly perfect marriage. Read alongside Zelda Fitzgerald’s 1932 novel Save Me the Waltz.
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Last Tycoon (1941): Fitzgerald’s unfinished novel, which was edited and published posthumously. It offers a more detached view on the pursuit of happiness we see in The Great Gatsby, told as a roman a clef.
  • Budd Schulberg, The Disenchanted (1950): A heart-wrenching fictionalization of a young Budd’s experience collaborating with an older, more cynical Scott on a film script. If The Great Gatsby is the Great American Novel, this is the great Hollywood tale.

Short Stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald

  • Thank You for the Light(The New Yorker, 2013): One of Fitzgerald’s “lost” short stories, unearthed and published in 2013. It provides a very different version of Fitzgerald—a strangely optimistic and brief piece.
  • Babylon Revisited” (1931): Possibly Fitzgerald’s most famous short story, which effectively captures the feeling of hopelessness so pervasive in The Great Gatsby.
  • “Winter Dreams” (1922): Fitzgerald once described this as The Great Gatsby’s first draft.
  • “The Ice Palace” (1920): Another brief reflection on his relationship with Zelda and their general disillusionment, coupled with some of his most beautiful prose.
  • “May Day” (1920): A group of WWI soldiers attend an extravagant party following the brutal May Day riots of 1919. Notably, one of his longest short stories, which depicts striking contrasts in both class and in violence.

Non-Fiction

  • Matthew J. Bruccoli, Some Sort of Epic Grandeur: The Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald (1981).
  • Jackson R. Bryer (Ed.), Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald (1985).
  • Mary Jo Tate, F. Scott Fitzgerald A to Z: The Essential Reference to His Life and Work (1997).
  • Sarah Churchwell Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of the Great Gatsby (2013).
  • Maureen Corrigan So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures (2014).

Feature Films

  • Elliott Nugent, dir., The Great Gatsby (1949).
  • Jack Clayton, dir., The Great Gatsby (1974).
  • Elia Kazan, dir., The Last Tycoon (1976).
  • David Fincher, dir., The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008).
  • Richard Wolstencroft, The Beautiful and Damned (2009).
  • Baz Luhrmann, dir., The Great Gatsby (2013).

Other Writing

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