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Professor Sarah Churchwell on Genius, Big Dreams and F. Scott Fitzgerald



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Ryan speaks with Sarah Churchwell about her book Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Great Gatsby, the complicated figure of F. Scott Fitzgerald, how The Great Gatsby’s celebration of mad dreamers who chase the American Dream informs our pursuit of the same ideal today, and more.

Sarah Churchwell is professor of American Literature and Public Understanding of the Humanities at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. Her work focuses on 20th- and 21st-century American literature and cultural history, especially the 1920s and 1930s, including four books: The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe, Behold America: A History of America First and the American Dream, The Wrath to Come: Gone with the Wind and the Lies America Tells, and the aforementioned Careless People. She has written for numerous publications, including The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Book Review, The Times Literary Supplement, The Spectator, the New Statesman, The Guardian and The Observer. Saraha was also a judge for the 2014 Man Booker Prize, the 2017 Baillie Gifford Prize, and the 2019 Sunday Times Short Story Prize. In April 2021, she was long listed for the Orwell Prize for Journalism.

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