Minggu, 18 September 2011

The Most Famous Flapper

Novel Zelda Fitzgerald ebook

Novel Zelda Fitzgerald ebook

I would like to say, at the beginning of this review, that, although I am a Vine Reviewer, I bought this book myself, and I am reviewing it, not because I have to but because I want to.

I fell in love with Scott Fitzgerald's writing the summer I was 14. I have continued to love his books and stories for fifty years. One story, "The Cut Glass Bowl" stopped me from ever having cut glass in my home. Now I find that some of that writing I have read and reread may not have been written by F. Scott himself, but by the woman who has been insulted and treated as a madwoman for so many years, his wife, Zelda. It's strange, but many of his short stories always seemed to have a feminine ring to them. I thought it was me, but it may have has more of a foundation than that. Theresa Anne Fowler has written an extremely readable and informative book which I think should be required reading for any Fitzgerald fan or anyone else looking for a good read..
Ms. Fowler covers the years 1918 to 1940 telling the story of the Fitzgerald marriage, even after there was no marriage. I wondered, as I read, "A Moveable Feast" years ago how Hadley Hemingway felt about Ernest, wandering around, enjoying Paris while she stayed home with their son. We learned some answers in "The Paris Wife". Now we have the answers to the same question about Zelda Fitzgerald. Each of these women was talented in her own right, but they each put those talents aside to worship at the altar of their husband's fame. In the end, each was rewarded with poor treatment by those famous men. Hemingway's attitude seemed to be that his wife could be ignored and stepped over. However, Fitzgerald's cruelty was a conscious effort to undermine Zelda whenever her obvious writing talent seemed to compete with his own writings.
After reading some of the writing, honestly, attributed to Zelda, I became interested in reading any of her works which had been published. I found a collected works in Amazon's inventory. However, alas, the professional reviews by the usual suspects described her work as mediocre and an attempt to compete with her illustrious husband. This is, in spite of the fact, that it is now recognized that Zelda contributed to some of Scott's work and, as this book reveals, had work published under his name because of his "star quality", shame, shame. The author has included an afterward or writer's note in this book, but she left one fact out. The Fitzgerald's daughter Scottie won a Pulitzer Prize for her book on Vietnam, "The Fire in the Lake". One wonders now from which side of her family the talent to write such a book came.
I have read "The Far Side of Paradise" as well as a couple of other biographies of this couple. If you have also done so, I think this book is a "must read" for you. Also, with the issue of a new "Gatsby" film and interest from Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris", it might be time for a publisher to correct the harm which has been done to Zelda's image by releasing a new volume of collected works. If not, do read this book. It will leave a void in your reading experience not to do so.

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7 komentar:

  1. Brandon Shields20 November 2010 03.32

    I loved this book! I've read A Moveable Feast, The Paris Wife, and other books about this era, in which Zelda comes off as a wild child. This book explains so much about her actions and life as F. Scott's wife. It seems that she had a lot to offer but didn't get the chance. I think we also forget how young these two were when they became so famous. I enjoyed every page and hated for it to end.

    BalasHapus
  2. I have been an ardent fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald since I first read "The Great Gatsby" in the tenth grade. I own his complete works, along with an entire shelf of biographies and critical analyses of his work. As author Therese Anne Fowler notes in the Epilogue of this interesting, poignant novel, there really are Team Scott camps and Team Zelda camps. Few literary figures can boast such intense one-sided supporters. I've always found myself firmly planted on Team Scott, and I admit that I've given little regard to wife Zelda over the years other than knowing her as "the crazy woman" that ultimately destroyed Scott and his fragile talent.

    That said, "Z" is an extraordinary, excellent fictional autobiography that - perhaps for the very first time - opened my eyes to the complicated nuances of the Fitzgeralds' life and marriage. Fowler's Zelda emerges as a complete, likeable flawed heroine - full of energy, love, and independence in an era when women were extremely limited and scandalized for thinking outside the confines of domesticity. At the outset I braced myself for a very critical portrayal of F. Scott Fitzgerald, since it was clear from the outset that Fowler was on Team Zelda. I was pleasantly surprised that Scott is treated quite fairly, characterized as the selfish, drunken genius that he was, firmly entrenched in the period's belief in male superiority. If anyone emerges as the villain here, it is Fitzgerald's friend and rival Ernest Hemingway, who treated quite critically (again, all from Zelda's perspective).

    This is the touching, engaging story of a time and the two individuals who defined it. Zelda Fitzgerald is, at long last, a real person with a heart and soul and mind of her own, detached from her more famous husband. This book has inspired me to learn more about this unique woman, in the hopes that it will, in turn, help me better understand the beauty of Fitzgerald's work and why I fell in love with "Gatsby" in the first place, all those years ago. Easily recommended.

    BalasHapus
  3. Dollie Mcintosh24 Oktober 2011 05.32

    This is a great fictional account of the relationship and marriage of Zelda Sayre and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Though it is fictional, author Therese Anne Fowler has definately done extensive research on her subjects in "Z".

    I have read Zelda's biography and many of Scott's works and I think that this book does a great job of reading between the lines and does separate some facts from fiction in this story about the Jazz Age couple.

    From their bumpy beginnings to their glamorous nightlife escapades, and then ultimate tradgic ends, Z gives Zelda a resounding voice and tells the tale of a couple who seemed in the beginning to have it all. They were people that others wanted to be as they rubbed elbows with Dorothy Parker, "H. L." Mencken, Gertrude Stein, Picasso, Hemingway, Ziegfeld, and many other celebrities in New York, Paris and elsewhere.

    This book was a joy to read and I loved every page of it. It brought to life all the struggles and joys the Fitzgeralds endured during their brief, but lively lifetimes. Zelda struggled to maintain an independant identity that was always overshadowed by her husband's accomplishments and over indulging habits. Zelda's relationship with Hemingway, who Scott was smitten with, is accutely described as Hemingway was someone who often dominated her husband's time as he caused wedges in the Fitzgerald's marriage, for whatever villainous or egotistical reasons. The way Fowler portrays Hemingway in Zelda's eyes to me, was very well done. Scott's excessive drinking is also examined through Zelda's eyes and how the extreme lifestyle eventually wore the couple down health wise as well as finacially.

    I applaud this work. I think it will tie in nicely when The Great Gatsby comes out in Spring. I would recommend 'Z' to fans of Scott and Zelda for a biopic view of how life probably was for Zelda. The author did a great job of portraying their lifestyles, ups and downs and all the moving about and travels as well as Zelda's mental health struggles. Great Job.

    BalasHapus
  4. Therese Anne Fowler's Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, was recommended to me by two people whose opinions I highly respect when it comes to historical novels, so I picked it up in hopes of not only a good read, but one that would give me a sense of who the real Zelda was. I got both, and have to say I'm truly enamored of this book.

    Told in first person, we follow wild Zelda from the time she meets Scott Fitzgerald in 1918 through the time of his death in 1940. To say Zelda's headstrong and a forceful personality would be an understatement; falling in love with a character almost her personality twin was a recipe for disaster. Zelda is led to New York City and the wandering life of her writer husband; between the two of them, much alcohol is consumed and much wildness ensues. For a short time around the birth of her daughter, Zelda and Scott try to settle down, but the drive to write and the need to party overtakes both, and they find themselves living in Paris, no true roots for either. Zelda watches as Scott continuously tries to write, his self-doubt and inability to focus almost destroying them, but she is not blameless either. Moving from one place to the next, always looking for a good time, their lives truly begin to disintegrate when Scott strikes up an all-encompassing friendship with Ernest Hemingway. Zelda grows jealous; Hemingway grows disdainful; Scott sinks into alcohol. Things go from bad to worse when Zelda essentially has a breakdown and ends up in a sanitarium, the first of many. There will be no happy ending for the Fitzgeralds.

    I did not know much about Zelda beyond the basics when I picked this novel up, but it feels as though Ms. Fowler has nailed her impetuousness and her manic ways perfectly. Reading the author's note, much of what appears is based on the facts of the arrogant, nomadic lifestyle of two creative forces colliding. Along the way, I grew to love Zelda for who she was, reveling in the author's well-written interpretation of a life lived fully but wasted nonetheless. Definitely a story for the ages, and a highly recommended read.

    BalasHapus
  5. I was lucky enough to read an ARC of this book and have been waiting patiently till today to be able to post my review! What a beautiful book. The inside matches the outside: Zelda is a fully realized woman, and her complicated relationship with herself and Fitzgerald is meticulously researched. For fans of The Great Gatsby, historical fiction and great reads in general. Highly recommend.

    BalasHapus
  6. I would like to say, at the beginning of this review, that, although I am a Vine Reviewer, I bought this book myself, and I am reviewing it, not because I have to but because I want to.

    I fell in love with Scott Fitzgerald's writing the summer I was 14. I have continued to love his books and stories for fifty years. One story, "The Cut Glass Bowl" stopped me from ever having cut glass in my home. Now I find that some of that writing I have read and reread may not have been written by F. Scott himself, but by the woman who has been insulted and treated as a madwoman for so many years, his wife, Zelda. It's strange, but many of his short stories always seemed to have a feminine ring to them. I thought it was me, but it may have has more of a foundation than that. Theresa Anne Fowler has written an extremely readable and informative book which I think should be required reading for any Fitzgerald fan or anyone else looking for a good read..
    Ms. Fowler covers the years 1918 to 1940 telling the story of the Fitzgerald marriage, even after there was no marriage. I wondered, as I read, "A Moveable Feast" years ago how Hadley Hemingway felt about Ernest, wandering around, enjoying Paris while she stayed home with their son. We learned some answers in "The Paris Wife". Now we have the answers to the same question about Zelda Fitzgerald. Each of these women was talented in her own right, but they each put those talents aside to worship at the altar of their husband's fame. In the end, each was rewarded with poor treatment by those famous men. Hemingway's attitude seemed to be that his wife could be ignored and stepped over. However, Fitzgerald's cruelty was a conscious effort to undermine Zelda whenever her obvious writing talent seemed to compete with his own writings.
    After reading some of the writing, honestly, attributed to Zelda, I became interested in reading any of her works which had been published. I found a collected works in Amazon's inventory. However, alas, the professional reviews by the usual suspects described her work as mediocre and an attempt to compete with her illustrious husband. This is, in spite of the fact, that it is now recognized that Zelda contributed to some of Scott's work and, as this book reveals, had work published under his name because of his "star quality", shame, shame. The author has included an afterward or writer's note in this book, but she left one fact out. The Fitzgerald's daughter Scottie won a Pulitzer Prize for her book on Vietnam, "The Fire in the Lake". One wonders now from which side of her family the talent to write such a book came.
    I have read "The Far Side of Paradise" as well as a couple of other biographies of this couple. If you have also done so, I think this book is a "must read" for you. Also, with the issue of a new "Gatsby" film and interest from Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris", it might be time for a publisher to correct the harm which has been done to Zelda's image by releasing a new volume of collected works. If not, do read this book. It will leave a void in your reading experience not to do so.

    BalasHapus