Maureen D Corrigan


Nicky and Jamie Grant Distinguished Professor of the Practice in Literary Criticism


Department of English
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+1 202-687-9517

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Spring 2017: T/Th 2:00-3:30pm & by appointment


Maureen Corrigan is Critic in Residence in the Department of English. She is an expert in the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald, the literature of New York City, American detective fiction, American Women's Autobiography, the work of American Public Intellectuals in the 20th Century, and 19th century British poetry and prose.

She received her Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania with a concentration in the social criticism of Thomas Carlyle, John Ruskin and William Morris. She received her B.A. in English from Fordham University.

For the past 25 years, Corrigan has been the book critic on the Peabody Award-winning NPR program, "Fresh Air." She is also a Mystery Columnist for The Washington Post and publishes regularly on NPR on-line. Other reviews and essays have been published in Salon, The Atlantic on-line, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Nation, Newsday, The New York Observer, The Village Voice, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

She received the 1999 Edgar Award in Criticism. She served as a juror for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, as a juror and panel head for the LA Times Book Prize for two consecutive years, and as advisor to the National Endowment for the Arts "Big Read" Project. She serves on The Usage Panel of The American Heritage Dictionary and as an advisor to The Museum of American Writers (under construction in Chicago).

Her latest book, So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures was selected as an Editors' Choice by The New York Times Book Review, and named as a Best Book of 2014 by Library Journal, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Kansas City Star.

Books and Recent Collected Essays:

--Mystery and Suspense Writers, editor and contributor with Robin Winks. (Scribners, 1999) Winner, Edgar Award in Criticism, Mystery Writers of America.

--Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading: Finding and Losing Myself in Books (Random House, 2005)

--"David Copperfield" in The Books That Changed My Life (Gotham Books, 2006)

--"Foreword" to The Penguin Collected Nellie Bly (2014)

--So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures (Little, Brown, 2014)

For lectures and speaking engagements, Maureen Corrigan is represented by Trinity Ray of The Tuesday Agency.


  • Ph.D. () University of Pennsylvania ,
  • M.A. () University of Pennsylvania,
  • B.A. () Fordham University,