Author Spotlight: F Scott Fitzgerald

I love Fitzgerald, I’ll admit it. But I’m not a Great Gatsby fangirl. Sure, I love it, but what really gets me is The Beautiful and Damned. Wow wow wow, I’m kind of Anthony Patch. And Daisy Buchanan could only dream of being Gloria! I love the short stories, I love it all. I don’t even care to admit it, even if being a Fitzgerald Fan is so “basic” these days. Let’s walk through his bibliography. You’ll notice there are a million different short story collections out there, organizing them in different groupings, but I highly recommend them all.

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. First published in 1925, this quintessential novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the mysteriously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.

Beautiful and Damned

The Beautiful and Damned, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s second novel, tells the story of Anthony Patch, a 1920s socialite and presumptive heir to a tycoon’s fortune, the relationship with his wife Gloria, his service in the army, and alcoholism. Anthony and Gloria are young and gorgeous, rich and leisured and they dedicate their lives to the pursuit of happiness and we follow the intimate story of their marriage as it disintegrates under the weight of their expectations, fuelled by dissipation, jealousy and aimlessness.

Fitzgerald skilfully portrays the Eastern elite as the Jazz Age begins its ascent, engulfing all classes into what will soon be known as Café Society. As with all of his other novels, it is a brilliant character study and is also an early account of the complexities of marriage and intimacy, largely based on Fitzgerald’s relationship and marriage with Zelda Fitzgerald.

The Last Tycoon

Their eyes ‘met and tangled. For an instant they made love as no one ever dares to do after. Their glance was slower than an embrace, more urgent than a call’. A novel of the glittering decadence of Hollywood in its heyday, this was Fitzgerald’s last work and he died without completing it. The novel’s tragic tycoon hero is Stahr. Caught in the crossfire of his own effortless cynicism and his silent, secret vulnerability, Stahr inhabits a world dominated by business, alcohol and promiscuity. If there is a moral or social necessity to film-making in this West Coast never-never land, Stahr does not always believe in it. If there is love he does not always see it. The sharpness of Fitzgerald’s prose, the steely simplicity of his style, give a cutting edge to this study of Hollywood in the thirties, from which Fitzgerald draws a painfully bitter-sweet love affair and bids his own poignant farewell to the Great American Dream.

Flappers and Philosophers

Encompassing the very best of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short fiction, this collection spans his career, from the early stories of the glittering Jazz Age, through the lost hopes of the thirties, to the last, twilight decade of his life. It brings together his most famous stories, including ‘The Diamond as Big as the Ritz’, a fairy tale of unlimited wealth; the sad and hilarious stories of Hollywood hack Pat Hobby; and ‘The Lost Decade’, written in Fitzgerald’s last years.

This Side of Paradise

Narrator and protagonist of Fitzgerald’s semi-autobiographical THIS SIDE OF PARADISE, Amory Blaine is the privileged son of a fading era. Handsome and intellectually ambitious—he struggles to find meaning and value during a period when those qualities are increasingly difficult to define. After the first horrific world war, Gertrude Stein labeled Fitzgerald’s contemporaries “the Lost Generation.” The post-war young found themselves unable and unwilling to revive the goals and mores of their parents. F. Scott Fitzgerald spoke for that generation as a young author and established his claim as one of the leading—if not THE leading—American writer of the first half of the twentieth century.

Tender is the Night

Between the First World War and the Wall Street Crash, the French Riviera was the stylish place for wealthy Americans to visit. Among the most fashionable are the Divers, Dick and Nicole who hold court at their villa. Into their circle comes Rosemary Hoyt, a film star, who is instantly attracted to them, but understands little of the dark secrets and hidden corruption that hold them together. As Dick draws closer to Rosemary, he fractures the delicate structure of his marriage and sets both Nicole and himself on to a dangerous path where only the strongest can survive. In this exquisite, lyrical novel, Fitzgerald has poured much of the essence of his own life; he has also depicted the age of materialism, shattered idealism and broken dreams.

The Crack-Up

The Crack-Up tells the story of Fitzgerald’s sudden descent at the age of thirty-nine from glamorous success to empty despair, and his determined recovery. Compiled and edited by Edmund Wilson shortly after F. Scott Fitzgerald’s death, this revealing collection of his essays―as well as letters to and from Gertrude Stein, Edith Wharton, T.S. Eliot, John Dos Passos―tells of a man with charm and talent to burn, whose gaiety and genius made him a living symbol of the Jazz Age, and whose recklessness brought him grief and loss. “Fitzgerald’s physical and spiritual exhaustion is described brilliantly,” noted The New York Review of Books: “the essays are amazing for the candor.”

I’d Die for You and Other Stories

I’d Die For You is a collection of the last remaining unpublished and uncollected short stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald, edited by Anne Margaret Daniel. Fitzgerald did not design the stories in I’d Die For You as a collection. Most were submitted individually to major magazines during the 1930s and accepted for publication during Fitzgerald’s lifetime, but were never printed. Some were written as movie scenarios and sent to studios or producers, but not filmed. Others are stories that could not be sold because their subject matter or style departed from what editors expected of Fitzgerald. They date from the earliest days of Fitzgerald’s career to the last. They come from various sources, from libraries to private collections, including those of Fitzgerald’s family.

Tales of the Jazz Age

‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ sees a baby born in 1860 begin life as an old man and then age backwards. F. Scott Fitzgerald hinted at this kind of inversion when he called his era ‘a generation grown up to find all Gods dead, all wars fought, all faiths in man shaken’. Perhaps nowhere in American fiction has this ‘Lost Generation’ been more vividly preserved than in Fitzgerald’s short fiction. Spanning the early twentieth-century American landscape, this collection captures, with Fitzgerald’s signature blend of enchantment and disillusionment, America during the Jazz Age.

The Love Letters of F Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Fitzgerald

Through his alcoholism and her mental illness, his career highs (and lows) and her institutional confinement, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald’s devotion to each other endured for more than twenty-two years. Now, for the first time, the story of the love of these two glamorous and hugely talented writers can be given in their own letters. Introduced by an extensive narrative of the Fitzgeralds’ marriage, the 333 letters – three-quarters of them previously unpublished or out of print – have been edited by the noted Fitzgerald scholars, Jackson R. Bryer and Cathy W. Barks. They are illustrated throughout with a generous selection of familiar and unpublished photographs.

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