Book Critic for NPR’s Fresh Air; Columnist for The Washington Post; Lecturer in English at Georgetown University
So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures
Maureen Corrigan is one of America’s most trusted and beloved book critics. Her distinctive voice is at once incisive and accessible, like a well- read friend who always sends you home with a good book to read. Upon first meeting Maureen the celebrated novelist Ann Patchett quipped, “…[we] were going to be friends, and once you become friends with a book reviewer they won’t review your books any more. But everybody knows a smart new friend trumps a great review any day.”
For more than twenty years Maureen has been the book critic for NPR’s Fresh Air. She is also a columnist for the Washington Post and the critic-in-residence at Georgetown University where her courses are very popular. As a lecturer she’s been described as “brilliant,” “hilarious,” “passionate” and “eloquent.” She is the author of two books of her own; Leave me Alone I’m Reading and So We Read On: How the Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why it Endures, which was named one of the ten best books of the year by Library Journal.
It was Maureen’s father who first inspired her passion for reading. He was an avid reader and she followed in his habits, by her own description a couple of “loner readers.” Maureen later attended graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania and was introduced to the possibility of writing about books when a friend invited her to write a review for the Village Voice. This was a revelatory moment for Maureen who had grown tired of the confines of academic life and found writing about books for a non- scholarly audience “energizing.”
Aside from her writings for the Washington Post and the Village Voice, Maureen has also written reviews for the New York Times, the Boston Globe and The Nation among others. She is an associate editor of and contributor to Mystery and Suspense Writers and the winner of the 1999 Edgar Award for Criticism. In 2012 she served as a juror for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction.
Maureen Corrigan lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and daughter. She receives more than 200 books per week to review! Her library, as you might expect, runneth over.