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The Great Gatsby Picked for Winter Read 2024
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Sunday, January 28, 2024
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

“The Great Gatsby,” a story about a mysterious millionaire’s attempts to romance a socialite on Long Island, will be the focal point of a community-wide read this winter.

The 2024 Winter Read, now in its sixth year, will kick of at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31, at Ketchum’s community Library as NPR Fresh Air book critic Maureen Corrigan shares the history of the book and its reception.

Corrigan, who wrote “So We Read On: How the Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why it Endures," will discuss why some people hate the book and other love it and why we should keep reading and re-reading it. It will be livestreamed at https://vimeo.com/event/3991402.

“We are beyond thrilled to have Maureen helping kick off this year’s Winter Read,” said Martha Williams, the director of programs and education at The Community Library. “For those new to reading Gatsby she will share reasons to care about this 100-year-old book, and for those revisiting its pages she’ll deliver keen observations about Fitzgerald’s characters and story, the 1920s social environment, and connections between the novel and the author’s own well-known but little understood life.”

Corrigan notes that “The Great Gatsby” was conceived a century ago by F. Scott Fitzgerald, a man who died believing himself a failure. The book is now a revered classic read in many literature classes. But Corrigan contends that many of us read it when we were too young to fully comprehend its power.

Corrigan will stay at the Ernest and Mary Hemingway House's Writer-in-Residence apartment owned and operated by The Community Library while here.

“I had the privilege of briefly touring the Hemingway House in the company of Salman Rushdie and Erik Larson during the summer of 2016 when we were all at the Sun Valley Writers' Conference,” said Corrigan. “I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to return as a guest and to work in such a hallowed place.”

The Winter Read is a collaboration between Ketchum’s Community Library, Hailey Public Library, Bellevue Public Library and Stanley Community Library. It invites adults and high school students to read a book together.

Other events being held in conjunction with the Winter Read:

Film Screening of The Great Gatsby (1974)

February 8, 6:00 p.m., Hailey Public Library – Town Center West

Screening of the 1974 film adaptation, starring Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, Sam Waterston, and Bruce Dern. Part of HPL’s monthly Classic Flicks series.

Gatsby: An American Myth - A Virtual Conversation with Martyna Majok

February 15, 5:30 p.m., The Community Library Lecture Hall

Majok, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, has worked with international rock star Florence Welch (Florence + The Machine) and Oscar and Grammy Award nominee Thomas Bartlett to develop the book for a new musical based on The Great Gatsby. The musical will debut in spring 2024 at the American Repertory Theater in Boston. Majok will join us via Zoom and discuss adapting the novel to the stage and her work with these other artists.

When Books Went to War with Molly Guptill Manning

February 22, 5:30 p.m., The Community Library Lecture Hall

Guptill will discuss her book about the World War II-era campaign launched by book publishers to send over 100 million paperback books to American troops. The Council on Books in Wartime effort helped popularize The Great Gatsby with their Armed Services Edition books, and their work was driven by the motto that “Books are weapons in the war on ideas.”

Gatsby Remixed: A Virtual Discussion with Authors Nghi Vo and Anna-Marie McLemore

March 7, 5:30 p.m., The Community Library Lecture Hall

Authors Vo and McLemore join us via Zoom to discuss how they reimagined Fitzgerald's classic. Vo’s The Chosen and the Beautiful was listed as Most Anticipated in 2021 Pick for Oprah Magazine, while McLemore’s Self-Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix was longlisted for the National Book Award in Young People's Literature. Both books explore Gatsby's themes with new depths and insights, welcoming in more readers to this tale of the American Dream

BOOK DISCUSSIONS

Will be held at the Stanley Community Library in person and via Zoom on Feb. 27; at the Hailey Public Library’s Town Center West on Feb. 29; at the Community Library at 5 p.m. March 4 in-person and over Zoom, and at the Bellevue Library in-person and via Zoom on March 6.

The Community Library’s Winter Read Book Group also will discuss “The Great Gatsby” and Virginia Woolf’s “Mrs. Dalloway,” also published in 1925, from 4 to 5 p.m. each Wednesday in February beginning Feb. 7. Registration is required for the group, which will be led by library executive director Jenny Emery Davidson.

WINTER READ EXHIBIT

The Community Library will feature art, artifacts, literature and fashion from the Roaring Twenties in its foyer throughout February and March. The collection will include a 1945 Armed Services Edition of “The Great Gatsby” given to American servicemen while serving overseas and interactive elements for the community to engage in.

GREAT GATSBY BINGO

All four libraries invite readers to pick up a bingo sheet at libraries and complete various activities related to the novel, libraries and reading beyond the Winter Read. Libraries in Hailey, Ketchum and Bellevue will raffle off prizes for those who get five in a row by March 15.

CLOSING PARTY

The 2024 Winter Read will close with a party on March 15 with details to be announced.

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