Scott Fitzgerald: A Biography

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HarperCollins, 1994 - Biography & Autobiography - 400 pages
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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: "My characters are all Scott Fitzgerald. Even the female characters are Scott Fitzgerald". In this much-needed new biography, Jeffrey Meyers offers a perceptive interpretation of both the life and the work of one of America's finest novelists. Despite his early success with The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald's life became a battle against failure and disappointment. Struggling for artistic integrity, he compromised his talent to support his extravagant way of life. 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 theses two writers with insight and poignancy, as he does Fitzgerald's marriage to the schizophrenic Zelda. Insecure emotionally as well as artistically, Fitzgerald was paradoxically both blighted and enhanced as man and writer through this tortured union: out of it blossomed his classic novel Tender is the Night. 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 illuminte 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 DorothyParker. 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.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

This easygoing, academically voiced bio of F. Scott Fitzgerald calls itself the first ``full-scale contemporary'' life since Turnbull's in 1962. Approvingly quoting Jay McInerney, Meyers dismisses ... Read full review

Scott Fitzgerald: a biography

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Fitzgerald once observed that "there are no second acts in American lives''--too bad, he could have used one. Meyers's often brutally honest portrait of the short, unhappy lives of Scott and Zelda is ... Read full review


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The Army and Zelda 19171919
This Side of Paradise and Marriage 19201922

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About the author (1994)

Jeffrey Meyers, a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, has written biographies of such literary greats as D.H. Lawrence, Robert Frost, Ernest Hemingway, & F. Scott Fitzgerald.

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