NICK by Michael Farris Smith will chronicle Nick Carraway's life before he moved to West Egg.
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Nick by Michael Farris Smith
Credit: Little, Brown And Company

You can read F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby 20 times, and still learn something new on your 21st reading. The masterfully written book has a timeless quality to it, in no small part thanks to the narrator, Nick Carraway.

Now, Little, Brown and Company, wants to give readers a chance to go back in time in Carraway's imagined life and get to know the famed narrator long before he landed in West Egg, Long Island. Out on January 5th, 2021, NICK, by Oxford, Mississippi, novelist Michael Farris Smith is everything you could want out of a Gatsby prequel (well, minus Fitzgerald's authorship).

An evocative glimpse into life amidst World War I, the book starts on a "foggy wartime Paris street corner and ends across the harbor from a Long Island estate," with scenes on wartime battlefields and in New Orleans speakeasies creating more captivating backdrops throughout.

"I've always been drawn to Nick Carraway as a character, 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. And I still feel that way much of the time, torn between the revelations of what we discover in life and the abandon of those same discoveries," Farris Smith said in a media statement. "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. So, I embraced the idea and dove into it with all those emotions fueling the creation."

You can pre-order the book on Amazon here.

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Farris Smith, whose tome The Fighter graced our 2018 Best Southern Books of the Year list, sculpts Carrraway's life in the most remarkable of ways. You'll be left feeling more excited than ever to pick up The Great Gatsby, even if—especially if —it's for the 21st time.