There’s a “Great Gatsby” Prequel in the Works

"Nick" will publish days after the classic novel's copyright expires

Nick Great Gatsby Prequel
The untold story of Nick's pre-Gatsby days.
Little, Brown
By Kayla Kibbe / July 15, 2020 12:02 pm

Nick Carraway, The Great Gatsby‘s resident unreliable narrator with a slight voyeuristic streak, will take center stage in a forthcoming prequel to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel.

Nick, the Gatsby prequel by Michael Farris Smith, is set to publish on January 5, 2021, just four days after the copyright on Fitzgerald’s novel expires, releasing Gatsby into the public domain for the first time. According to the book’s publishers, Smith’s prequel will see Nick “step out of the shadows and into the spotlight,” detailing the character’s life before he devoted it to narrating that of Jay Gatsby.

In a statement, Smith said Nick’s character has always resonated with him. “His feelings on turning 30 and a decade of uncertainty before him have always rung true to my own emotions when I was the same age,” said Smith, whose other works include Blackwood, The Fighter and Desperation Road.

“The last time I read Gatsby, a few years ago, Nick stayed in my imagination and he reveals so little about himself in the story, I couldn’t help but begin to create him in my mind, and I knew the only way to get it out was to put it on the page,” said Smith. “So I embraced the idea and dove into it with all those emotions fueling the creation.”

In Nick, publishers promise a novel “charged with enough alcohol, heartbreak, and profound yearning to paralyze even the heartiest of golden age scribes,” which will follow Nick through “the battlefields of World War I” to “the bars and speakeasys of New Orleans,” before finally finding his way to Long Island for his fateful summer with Gatsby.

The book is expected January 5, 2021, from Little, Brown.

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