Scott Fitzgerald: A Biography

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9780060190361: Scott Fitzgerald: A Biography

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.

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Review:

“Meyers’s compulsively readable, marvelously vivid biography… 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”. (Publishers Weekly)

“Marvelous—clear-sighted, humane and appreciative.” (Paul Theroux)

“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.” (Booklist)

“[A] culmination of decades of biographical exploration....Meyers is particularly interested in those areas of Fitzgerald’s life that other biographers have not sufficiently covered.” (Toronto Star)

About the Author:

Jeffrey Meyers, a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, has written fifty-two books, including Samuel Johnson: The Struggle, The Genius and the Goddess: Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe, Orwell: Life and Art, John Huston: Courage and Art, Remembering Iris Murdoch, and Thomas Mann's Artist-Heroes. His books have been translated into fourteen languages and seven alphabets, and published on six continents.

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Meyers, Jeffrey
Published by Harpercollins (1994)
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