“The Great Gatsby” exists as one of the great American novels. Since 1925, people have devoured the story of the extravagant millionaire Jay Gatsby. However, starting this year, a surge of retellings of “The Great Gatsby” will begin to see the light of day because the novel has finally entered public domain.
To enter public domain, copyrighted works must be more than 95-years-old. Books, though most commonly thought about, are not the only work to hit public domain. Songs, albums, movies and other copyrighted materials also enter public domain at the age of 95, so long as the material was released before 1978. Copyrighted works released after 1978 hit public domain 70 years after the death of the author. Materials can be remade before entering public domain; however, the adapter must pay a fee and ask permission. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” and Virginia Woolf’s “Mrs. Dalloway” are the two most well-known works to enter public domain this year.
Many authors have already taken advantage of the opportunity to reinvent this beloved story. One such person is K. Woodman-Maynard, who has adapted “The Great Gatsby” into a graphic novel. This adaptation finally provides a more accessible version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel. Maynard skillfully chose watercolor as her medium for creating the graphic novel. This allowed her to artfully bring the many beautiful, visual descriptions to life.
Another retelling of “Gatsby” that will be sure to delight fans is “The Gay Gatsby.” B.A. Baker has created a queer retelling of the beloved story. The synopsis of the book, as per Goodreads, is “The Gay Gatsby is a remix of the timeless classic that takes everything we thought we knew and shatters it — with love.”
Next up we have “Jay the Great” by Benjamin Frost. This adaptation is different as it exists as a modern retelling of the classic novel. According to Goodreads, the novel follows Dominick, a college freshman, who leaves the midwest to earn his degree on the East Coast. As the semester wears on, Dominick finds himself right in the middle of a “web of drama.” This novel is also unique as it diversifies the world of “Gatsby.”
Another adaptation is “The Great Gatsby Undead” by Kristen Briggs. Although this novel is not written by the same author, its description is reminiscent of the horror retelling of “Pride and Prejudice,” “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” In this new version of “Gatsby,” the titular character has one remarkable difference from the original Jay Gatsby: Gatsby is a vampire, and he’s hungry for blood.
Finally, we have “Nick” by Michael Farris Smith. “Nick” exists as a prequel to “The Great Gatsby.” This novel follows Nick Carraway before he moves to West Egg. Specifically, this novel depicts his role in World War I and the effects of the war on his person. “Nick” has already received much buzz even though it was just released at the beginning of January.
These five adaptations are just the beginning. The flood gate has opened for authors to retell this classic story in any way they desire. With so many retellings, there is surely something to please everyone.