Scott Fitzgerald : a biography

by Meyers, Jeffrey.

Format: Print Book 2014
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
Brentwood Library Nonfiction 813.52 Meyers
Location  Brentwood Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  813.52 Meyers

Scott Fitzgerald, a romantic and tragic figure who embodied the decades between the two world wars, was a writer who took his material almost entirely from his life. Despite his early success with The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald battled against failure and disappointment.

This book, by the acclaimed biographer of Hemingway, is the first to analyze frankly the meaning as well as the events of Fitzgerald's life and to illuminate the recurrent patterns that reveal his inner self. Meyers emphasizes Fitzgerald's alcoholism, Zelda's illnesses and her doctors, Fitzgerald's love affairs both before and after her breakdown, and his wide-ranging friendships, from the polo star Tommy Hitchcock to the Hollywood executive Irving Thalberg. His writer friends included Ring Lardner, John Dos Passos, James Joyce, Edith Wharton, and Dorothy Parker. His friend and lifelong hero, Ernest Hemingway, was a harsh critic of both his behavior and his novels, but Fitzgerald accepted this with remarkable humility. Meyers portrays the volatile connection between these two writers and Fitzgerald's marriage to the schizophrenic Zelda with insight and poignancy. Meyers also discusses Fitzgerald's fascinating relationship with his daughter, Scottie. Exercising a fine critical balance, he details Fitzgerald's weaknesses but ultimately reveals a man capable of fierce loyalty and great moral courage.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Although this is the first in-depth biography of the tragically great American writer Scott Fitzgerald to be published in several decades, it tells the same old sad story. Not to say that Meyers, an accomplished literary biographer who has written about D. H. Lawrence and Hemingway, hasn't unearthed fresh material. He has, but it all substantiates our image of Fitzgerald as beautiful and damned, a genius forced by circumstance and temperament to squander his talent. Indeed, Meyers provides us with a dizzying number of anecdotes about Fitzgerald's dismaying behavior, profligacy, and fear of sexual intimacy and inadequacy, but it is Meyers' compassionate interpretation of Fitzgerald's weaknesses and appreciation for his achievements that make this an invaluable and unforgettable portrait. Meyers explores all the ramifications of Fitzgerald's complex and destructive marriage to the once vivacious, later incurably mad Zelda, concluding that when it came down to it, Fitzgerald demonstrated admirable loyalty and compassion. Torn between the need for money and the demands of serious art, and saddled with an overwhelming sense of inferiority that drove him to drink--a habit his hypoglycemic body couldn't handle--Fitzgerald did the best he could, ultimately enriching our lives with his achingly original and enduring fiction. ~--Donna Seaman"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Meyers's compulsively readable, marvelously vivid biography of Jazz Age novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) uncovers a wealth of new details that cumulatively bring into focus a tragic figure torn between the struggle for artistic integrity and the desire to live up to his glamorous image. Biographer of Hemingway, Poe and D. H. Lawrence, Meyers is especially adept at discussing Fitzgerald's alcoholism, which alienated his friends; the devastating impact of his wife Zelda's three mental breakdowns and her plunge into madness; and Fitzgerald's well-intentioned but misguided parenting of their daughter Scottie whom he raised virtually on his own. Meyers provides much new material on Fitzgerald's numerous love affairs, on his friendships with Edmund Wilson, Hemingway and others, on his formative years at a Catholic boarding school and on his academic disaster at Princeton. He is also insightful in ferreting out links between Fitzgerald's ``extremely autobiographical'' fiction and his chaotic life. Photos. BOMC alternate; QPB selection. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Fitzgerald, F. Scott -- (Francis Scott), -- 1896-1940.
Authors, American -- 20th century -- Biography.
Publisher New York :Harper Perennial,2014
Edition 1st HarperPerennial ed.
Language English
Description xvi, 442 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 21 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 9780062316950
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