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F. Scott Fitzgerald
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"F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) is best known for his novels and short stories which chronicle the excesses of America's 'Jazz Age' during the 1920s.
"Born into a fairly well-to-do family in St Paul, Minnesota in 1896 Fitzgerald attended, but never graduated from Princeton University. Here he mingled with the monied classes from the Eastern Seaboard who so obsessed him for the rest of his life. In 1917 he was drafted into the army, but he never saw active service abroad. Instead, he spent much of his time writing and re-writing his first novel This Side of Paradise, which on its publication in 1920 became an instant success. In the same year he married the beautiful Zelda Sayre and together they embarked on a rich life of endless parties.
"Dividing their time between America and fashionable resorts in Europe, the Fitzgeralds became as famous for their lifestyle as for the novels he wrote. Fitzgerald once said 'Sometimes I don't know whether Zelda and I are real or whether we are characters in one of my novels'. He followed his first success with The Beautiful and the Damned (1922), and The Great Gatsby (1925) which Fitzgerald considered his masterpiece. It was also at this time that Fitzgerald wrote many of his short stories which helped to pay for his extravagant lifestyle.
"The bubble burst in the 1930s when Zelda became increasingly troubled by mental illness. Tender is the Night (1934), the story of Dick Diver and his schizophrenic wife Nicole, goes some way to show the pain that Fitzgerald felt. The book was not well received in America and he turned to script-writing in Hollywood for the final three years of his life. It was at this time he wrote the autobiographical essays collected posthumously in The Crack-Up and his unfinished novel, The Last Tycoon. He died in 1940."
Source: Penguin Web Site (http://www.futurenet.co.uk/Penguin/Authors/190.html). Accessed 10 June 1997.
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The author photograph was taken by Carl Van Vechten. (Source: Wheeler Winston Dixon. The Cinematic Vision of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Ann Arbor: UMI Research P, 1986. Page 48. PS 3511 I9Z587 ROBA.)
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