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Fool for Love

F. Scott Fitzgerald

2012
Author:

Scott Donaldson

Fool for Love

A remarkable biography of F. Scott Fitzgerald, written by one of the nation’s best biographers

Fool for Love is Scott Donaldson’s masterful biography of F. Scott Fitzgerald—written from a fresh and highly intimate perspective. This engrossing, definitive study explores two classic Fitzgerald themes—love and class—and the result is a striking portrayal of one of the twentieth century’s greatest writers, whose legacy and influence only continue to grow.

The most penetrating psychological examination of the author ever written.

James L. W. West III, editor of The Cambridge Edition of the Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fool for Love is Scott Donaldson’s masterful biography of F. Scott Fitzgerald—written from a fresh and highly intimate perspective. Fool for Love follows Fitzgerald from his birthplace in St. Paul, Minnesota, to Princeton and upward into the highest reaches of literary and public success—and ultimately to Fitzgerald’s untimely death in Hollywood at the age of forty-four, broke and nearly forgotten.

This engrossing, definitive study explores two classic Fitzgerald themes—love and class—and the result is a striking portrayal of one of the twentieth century’s greatest writers, whose legacy and influence only continue to grow.

Fool for Love

Scott Donaldson is one of the nation’s leading literary biographers. Among his many books are By Force of Will: The Life and Art of Ernest Hemingway; Archibald MacLeish: An American Life, winner of the Ambassador Book Award for Biography; and Hemingway vs. Fitzgerald: The Rise and Fall of a Literary Friendship.

Fool for Love

A stunning portrait. Full of intriguing insights. Donaldson comes close to what the inner man must have been.

Publishers Weekly

Written with great polish and researched as fully as any work on Fitzgerald.

CHOICE

The most penetrating psychological examination of the author ever written.

James L. W. West III, editor of The Cambridge Edition of the Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald

An arresting exploration of the relationship between a writer's psyche and the work he produces.

Blogcritics.org

Well worth a reading—or rereading if you caught it first in 1983. [Donaldson’s] examination of the talented, tragic and frequently stereotyped Fitzgerald is not a linear biography, but explores two themes—love and class—that inform Fitzgerald’s own life and work. His in-depth psychological exploration of these themes in Fitzgerald’s life gives the reader a fresh vantage point.

Lavender

The book reveals a side of Fitzgerald heretofore only hinted at in previous biographies.

Book News, Inc.

Fool for Love

Contents

Preface

1. A Man with No People
2. Princeton ‘17
3. “I Love You, Miss X”
4. Darling Heart
5. Genius and Glass
6. The Glittering Things
7. War Between the Sexes
8. Running Amuck
9. Cracking Up
10. Demon Drink
11. The Worst Thing
12. “a writer only”

Notes
Index

Fool for Love

UMP blog - Fitzgerald's past and the writing of The Great Gatsby

Toward the end of 1923, F. Scott Fitzgerald underwent one of his periods of remorse for the reckless style of life he and Zelda were pursuing in and around New York. They’d lived in Westport for a time, and he embedded some of that experience in his second novel, The Beautiful and Damned (1922) – a book that sold well but that lacked the passionate authorial involvement of This Side of Paradise (1920), the youthful first novel that won him a wife and began to forge his reputation as a chronicler of the Jazz Age. The Fitzgeralds next came to St. Paul for the birth of their daughter Scottie and returned east to a house in Great Neck, Long Island (or West Egg, in Gatsby).

Read the full article.

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UMP blog - Q&A on motivation, love, and the Roaring Twenties: Some reflections on F. Scott Fitzgerald

You mentioned in an interview this year that Fool for Love is the best writing you've ever done. Why?
A couple of reasons. One is that I felt a greater kinship with Fitzgerald than with any other subject. I grew up in Minneapolis, across the river from Fitzgerald’s St. Paul. I went to Blake school, the Twin Cities rival to his St. Paul Academy. My mother, a contemporary of Fitzgerald’s, was raised in St. Paul, and attended St. Paul Central high, as did many of Scott’s boyhood friends. I like to think that she – the pretty, red-haired Ruth Evelyn Chase – may have danced with the handsome young Fitzgerald. But that’s merely speculation, for she died while I was in my early teens, before I knew anything of Fitzgerald, and so we never talked about that possibility.

Read the full Q&A.