Thursday, December 13, 2012

Top ten literary party hosts

Suzette Field is The Tribune of The Last Tuesday Society. One of her earliest memories is sitting on Michael Jackson's lap in his studio while he was recording Thriller. She is the author of A Curious Invitation: The 40 Greatest Parties in Literature, which is naturally on the subject of parties, as seen through the eyes of literary luminaries.

One of her top ten literary party hosts, as told to the Guardian:
Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald

The hero of The Great Gatsby and the enigmatic host of a series of house parties in Long Island in the summer of 1922, at the height of the prohibition era. Despite his habit of sporting a pink suit, Gatsby manages to keep a low profile at his own parties and the majority of his guests are unaware of his identity. Conversation is devoted to speculating on the source of his wealth, with theories abounding as to whether he is a German spy, a bootlegger or even second cousin to the devil. But there is a secret agenda behind Gatsby's social munificence – he hopes one day to find among his guests Daisy Fay, the girl he loved and lost before the great war. Once the parties come to an end Gatsby's guests prove to be fickle, with only two of them bothering to show up to his funeral.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Great Gatsby appears among Robert McCrums's ten best closing lines in literature, Molly Driscoll's ten best literary lessons about love, Jim Lehrer's six favorite 20th century novels, John Mullan's lists of ten of the best clocks in literature and ten of the best misdirected messages, Tad Friend's seven best novels about WASPs, Kate Atkinson's top ten novels, Garrett Peck's best books about Prohibition, Robert McCrum's top ten books for Obama officials, Jackie Collins' six best books, and John Krasinski's six best books, and is on the American Book Review's list of the 100 best last lines from novels.

--Marshal Zeringue