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Book cover of A Life in Letters

A Life in Letters

by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Matthew J. Bruccoli (Editor), Judith S. Baugham (With), Matthew J. Bruccoli

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Paperback
ISBN: 9780684801537






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Synopsis of A Life in Letters

A vibrant self-portrait of an artist whose work was his life.

In this new collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald's letters, edited by leading Fitzgerald scholar and biographer Matthew J. Bruccoli, we see through his own words the artistic and emotional maturation of one of America's most enduring and elegant authors. A Life in Letters is the most comprehensive volume of Fitzgerald's letters -- many of them appearing in print for the first time. The fullness of the selection and the chronological arrangement make this collection the closest thing to an autobiography that Fitzgerald ever wrote.

While many readers are familiar with Fitzgerald's legendary "jazz age" social life and his friendships with Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Edmund Wilson, and other famous authors, few are aware of his writings about his life and his views on writing. Letters to his editor Maxwell Perkins illustrate the development of Fitzgerald's literary sensibility; those to his friend and competitor Ernest Hemingway reveal their difficult relationship. The most poignant letters here were written to his wife, Zelda, from the time of their courtship in Montgomery, Alabama, during World War I to her extended convalescence in a sanatorium near Asheville, North Carolina. Fitzgerald is by turns affectionate and proud in his letters to his daughter, Scottie, at college in the East while he was struggling in Hollywood.

For readers who think primarily of Fitzgerald as a hard-drinking playboy for whom writing was effortless, these letters show his serious, painstaking concerns with creating realistic, durable art.

Publishers Weekly

Organized chronologically, this correspondence--edited by eminent Fitzgerald scholar Bruccoli and freelance writer, Baughman--offers an accessible self-portrait of the writer (1896-1940). Early letters to his editor, Maxwell Perkins, and friends, Edmund Wilson and Ernest Hemingway, document Fitzgerald's devotion to craft, exemplified by The Great Gatsby (1925), as well as the novelist's ever-present financial problems, which kept him churning out short stories for the magazine market. Letters to his wife, Zelda--when she was hospitalized for mental illness--detail the destruction of their marriage. Fitzgerald felt it was caused by Zelda's problems, while she blamed Fitzgerald's alcoholism (a letter giving her version is included). A bitter letter Fitzgerald wrote to their daughter, Scottie, accuses Zelda of wrecking his health and talent. Despite his lack of perspective and his difficult life, Fitzgerald comes across, unsurprisingly, as warm, witty and effervescent. (July)

About the Author, F. Scott Fitzgerald

Inseparably associated with a point in history he claimed to despise, F. Scott Fitzgerald is both the quintessential Jazz-Age writer and perhaps the era s harshest critic. However, the complexity and sheer timelessness of classics such as The Great Gatsby has ensured that Fitzgerald s work will never be regarded as mere period pieces.

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