Scottie, the Daughter Of--: The Life of Frances Scott Fitzgerald Lanahan Smith

Eleanor Lanahan, Author
Eleanor Lanahan, Author HarperCollins Publishers $30 (624p) ISBN 978-0-06-017179-7
Paperback - 978-0-06-092738-7
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The only child of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda, Frances Scott Fitzgerald (1921-1986), nicknamed Scottie, was a Washington Post columnist, playwright, composer and producer of musicals and a Democratic Party insider. This harrowing biography by her daughter shows that Scottie adored her alcoholic father but felt oppressed by his celebrity. Blocking out her mother's descents into insanity, Scottie, as depicted here, developed into a maddeningly controlling person who manipulated her four children until they were driven to rebellion. One son, Tim, shot himself in 1973 after years of mental instability. In an alternately touching and plodding narrative, Lanahan, an artist and illustrator, describes her power struggles with a mother whom she resented for her self-preoccupation, her heavy drinking and her hasty remarriage in 1967 to Grove Smith after divorcing lawyer Jack Lanahan. By generously quoting from Scottie's unpublished and unfinished 74-page memoir as well as from letters, diaries and interviews, Lanahan sheds new light on the tumultuous Fitzgerald family saga. Photos not seen by PW. (Aug.)
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