A few years ago, an Atlantic Monthly headline asked “Must Every New Coming-of-Age Novel Be ‘the Next Catcher in the Rye’?” (Kelly). Fans of F. Scott Fitzgerald might wonder if its author, Maura Kelly—who once collaborated with Jack Murnighan on a book called Much Ado About Loving: What Our Favorite Novels Can Teach You About Date Expectations, Not-So-Great Gatsbys and Love in the Time of Internet Personals (2012)—ought to do a follow-up centering upon The Great Gatsby. Just as each publishing season delivers at least one or two novels touted as “a female Catcher” or a “Catcher for the ____ Generation,” so, too, F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel has become an all-purpose marketing handle. In recent years, novels as different as Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club (1996) and Sara J. Benincasa's young-adult/sci-fi Great (2014) have been promoted as spins on the...

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