Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Great Gatsby
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
The autumn of 1922, F. Scott Fitzgerald returned to New York for the publication of his fourth book, Tales of the Jazz Age. The Fitzgeralds’ arrival coincided with another event: the discovery of a brutal double murder in nearby New Jersey, a crime made all the more horrible by the police investigation—which failed to accomplish anything beyond generating enormous publicity for the newfound celebrity participants. The Mills-Hall murder has been wholly forgotten today, but the enormous impact of this bizarre crime can still be seen in The Great Gatsby. Sarah Churchwell combines a forensic search for clues to an unsolved crime and an examination of the roots of America’s best loved novel in her book Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Great Gatsby.
Director Baz Luhrmann's film adaptation of The Great Gatsby was released last summer.