LitPicks Book Reviews—August 2013

Theme—Scott & Zelda, Beautiful & Damned
Our books this month explore the glory and the tragedy of America's first Jazz-Age couple—the Fitzgeralds. A collection of Scott's famous Flapper girl stories from the
Saturday Evening Post, inspired by Zelda; a fictional bio of Zelda; and The Great Gatsby, a love story paralleling Scott's deep attachment to his wife.
 
Labels: A Lighter Touch

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F. Scott Fitzgerald's Gatsby Girls
F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1920-22
300 pp.

Book Review by Molly Lundquist
August, 2013

Published in The Saturday Evening Post from 1920-22, these eight stories by Fitzgerald have been collected into a single new volume. An added treat are the original illustrations from The Post that accompany each story—they're wonderful.

Written with Fitzgerald's understated wit and irony, the stories, like his novels, revolve around America's elite. At country clubs, in spacious homes and yachts, handsome young women and Ivy-Leagued young men pursue one another with desperate intent. It's a marriage market to make Jane Austen blush.
 

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Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
Therese Anne Fowler, 2013
384 pp.

Book Review by Molly Lundquist
August, 2013
She began as an appendage to her famous husband, his muse and his mainstay. Over time she evolved into a creative and productive soul in her own right.

This is the Zelda Fitzgerald we meet in Therese Fowler's mesmerizing fictional biography. Using prior research, diaries, and original letters, Fowler offers a sympathetic version—perhaps overly so—of Zelda's infamous rise and fall. And guess what? It was all Scott's fault.

 

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The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925
143 pp.

Book Review by Molly Lundquist
January 2009

Confession time. I don't really like The Great Gatsby. But I think I'm alone in the universe on this, which is why I'm recommending this month.

This review comes on the heels of Baz Luhrmann's 2013 film adaptation, a new biographical novel on Zelda, and a recently issued volume of Fitzgerald's famous flapper stories. Finally, I recommend Gatsby because critics have long considered it one of the quintessential American novels—a story bound up in the uniquely American myth of self-creation.
 

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