Z – A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Two Roads (11 April 2013)
  • Source – Amazon Vine
  • My Rating – 4.5 stars

My Fitzgerald fascination began almost 30 years ago as a student when I read The Great Gatsby, This Side of Paradise and Tender is the Night swiftly followed up by Nancy Milford’s excellent biography of Zelda. This new novelisation of Zelda’s life is perfectly timed to coincide with the latest movie adaptation of The Great Gatsby and will hopefully stir more interest in this flawed but fascinating couple.

On the surface Zelda seems like a spoiled Southern gal with a taste for the finer things in life but she isn’t a celebrity bimbo and underneath that sparkling flapper exterior lurks a razor sharp intellect. Her struggle to reconcile playing the dutiful wife whilst suppressing her creative urges is documented in this meticulously researched novel. The author does an excellent job of capturing Zelda’s voice as she narrates the tortuous story of her life with Fitzgerald, the good times and the bad, her stays in asylums, his battle with the bottle, their scintillating social life with the rich and famous including Hemmingway who never clicked with Zelda.

As well as being Zelda’s personal story this is an excellent representation of the highs and lows of the Jazz Age – it was such an exhilirating time for writers, especially those of the Lost Generation – Zelda regularly socialised with Hemmingway, TS Eliot, Dos Passos, Ezra Pound as well as Picasso and Jean Cocteau. In this novel you get a real feel for the life of those ex-pats in France and their hedonism after the spectre of the Great War.

If you think Paris Hilton is the archetypal modern Flapper, then perhaps you should read this novel and learn from the original and the best.

Zelda

The Fitzgerald Family

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2 Comments

  1. Marie says:

    Oooh, I bet this is fascinating! Such a turbulent life story. I never read biographies and was struggling to think of what to read to satisfy that category in my multi-genre challenge, but as luck would have it I’ve logged onto my blog reader today and lots of people have been reviewing tempting memoirs this week. I can tell I would get engrossed in this one.

  2. Teresa says:

    It’s a compelling read, Marie. If you’re not usually into biographies Nancy Milford’s biography of Zelda is really gripping reading.

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