The Thoughtbook in Library Journal
Published as part of the “Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage Book” series, which republishes works relating to Minnesota and the Upper Midwest, is this very brief (under 30 pages) diary that American novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940) began in St. Paul in 1910, when he was 13 years old, and kept for less than a year. This is the first time the writer’s journal has appeared in its entirety in print (the extant portion, that is, as the first seven pages are missing). Though the diary itself is short, it is bookended with an introduction and afterword by editor Page (English, journalism, Inver Hills Community Coll.; coeditor, The St. Paul Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald) and 12 photographs highlighting the book’s content. Page’s introduction details the provenance of the diary; his afterword contextualizes the Thoughtbook as an early document from which Fitzgerald later drew material.
Verdict For the general reader, the editor’s material would be more enlightening than the diary itself. But scholars and Fitzgerald buffs wanting to trace the author’s style and substance back to his juvenilia will want to consider this slight volume.—Audrey Snowden, Orrington P.L., ME