Daisy Buchanan’s Daughter by Tom Carson
She was born during the Jazz Age and grew up in Paris and the American Midwest after her father’s death on the polo field and her mother’s later suicide. As a young war reporter, she waded ashore on Omaha Beach and witnessed the liberation of Dachau. She spent the 1950s hobnobbing in Hollywood with Marlene Dietrich and Gene Kelly. She went to West Africa as an Ambassador’s wife as Jack Kennedy’s Camelot dawned. She comforted a distraught LBJ in Washington, DC, as the Vietnam war turned into a quagmire. And today? Today, it’s June 6, 2006: Pamela Buchanan Murphy Gerson Cadwaller’s 86th birthday. With some asperity, she’s waiting for a congratulatory phone call from the President of the United States. Brother, is he ever going to get a piece of her mind.
This week, to celebrate the release of Bahz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby this Friday, The A.V. Club’s Inventory feature covered nine adaptations of the classic novel, from its video game adaptation to its inevitable high school AU, Jake, Reinvented. Last on the list was this, a novel all about Pamela Buchanan, whom you might know as the baby Daisy is sitting on in these Kate Beaton strips. As you know, I am all about running wild with the blank spaces on books’ maps, and little Pamela is certainly brimming with potential. I recently revisited the novel, which means it is high time to get to the fanfiction.
Tadzio Koelb, writing for The New York Times, found it just absolutely overstuffed and suffering from tonal whiplash. Steven Moore, writing for The Washington Post, loved it, especially Pamela’s voice. Susan Storer Clark, writing for The Washington Independent Review of Books, also loved it, but points out that it is a little inaccessible. Jason Anderson, writing for The Toronto Globe and Mail, similarly enjoyed it, but notes that it can get a little over-ambitious at times.
Daisy Buchanan’s Daughter was published on June 22, 2011.