Gatsby Companion Reading List
Sure, now is a great time to re-read “The Great Gatsby” or read it for the first time so you know what everyone’s talking about, but if you want to further your Fitzgerald knowledge, there are several other books out just in time for the movie. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife, Zelda, tirelessly supported her husband and his writing, but she constantly longed for her own creative outlet. Zelda was quite a writer herself, along with a dancer, painter and mother. Get to know her in two books that recently hit the market and read Scott’s early stories inspired by her in a new collection from The Saturday Evening Post.
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler
Called “an utterly engrossing portrayal of Zelda Fitzgerald and the legendary circles in which she moved” by Sara Gruen, Fowler’s novel begins in 1918 with a teenage Zelda living in Montgomery, Alabama, and takes her to New York, Long Island, Hollywood, Paris and the French Riviera, where she and Scott join the endless party of the Lost Generation. A sort of fictional biography told in the first person by Zelda herself, “Z” is a fresh read for anyone who wants to learn more about Zelda and her life as Mrs. F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Call Me Zelda by Erika Robuck
“Hemingway’s Girl” author Erika Robuck follows up with a new book about Zelda Fitzgerald’s mental troubles and a fictional friendship she shares with a nurse named Anna. Robuck has become known for taking the lives of historical figures and reimagining them through fiction, and “Call Me Zelda” is no different. Beginning in the years “after the party” for Zelda and Scott, the book is an intimate portrayal of Zelda as a woman struggling to find herself and be something other than just a famous writer’s wife.
Beautiful Fools: The Last Affair of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald by R. Clifton Spargo
Imagining the missing, final chapter in the tragic romance of one of America’s great literary couples, “Beautiful Fools” was called “a vivid and revealing look at two charismatic, self-destructive people, and the love that sustained and ruined them” by Tom Perrotta. The book takes place in 1939, when Scott is living in Hollywood and dating a glamorous gossip columnist. In an attempt to save his fractured marriage, Scott arranges a trip to Cuba, where he and Zelda escape to a beach resort but realize they can’t escape the dangerous intensity of their relationship.
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Gatsby Girl: Short Stories from the Post
First published by The Saturday Evening Post between 1920 and 1922, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s early short stories brought the Jazz Age and the “flapper” to life. Women bobbed their hair, drank and flirted shamelessly, and Fitzgerald portrayed these exciting Gatsby Girls in the pages of the Post. With a forward by archivist Jeff Nilsson, this new collection of eight stories is accompanied by original illustrations and cover images.
Save Me the Waltz by Zelda Fitzgerald
True fans of Zelda need to read her own novel to really get to know her. Published in 1932, “Save Me the Waltz” is a semi autobiographical account of her life and marriage written during her time at Phipps Clinic in Baltimore. Scott was outraged by it and critics called the book “overwritten,” but it’s part of the couple’s history and Zelda’s legacy.