Scott Fitzgerald: A Biography

Jeffrey Meyers, Author HarperCollins Publishers $27.5 (400p) ISBN 978-0-06-019036-1
Meyers's compulsively readable, marvelously vivid biography of Jazz Age novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) uncovers a wealth of new details that cumulatively bring into focus a tragic figure torn between the struggle for artistic integrity and the desire to live up to his glamorous image. Biographer of Hemingway, Poe and D. H. Lawrence, Meyers is especially adept at discussing Fitzgerald's alcoholism, which alienated his friends; the devastating impact of his wife Zelda's three mental breakdowns and her plunge into madness; and Fitzgerald's well-intentioned but misguided parenting of their daughter Scottie whom he raised virtually on his own. Meyers provides much new material on Fitzgerald's numerous love affairs, on his friendships with Edmund Wilson, Hemingway and others, on his formative years at a Catholic boarding school and on his academic disaster at Princeton. He is also insightful in ferreting out links between Fitzgerald's ``extremely autobiographical'' fiction and his chaotic life. Photos. BOMC alternate; QPB selection. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/04/1994
Release date: 04/01/1994
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