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Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald Paperback – Deckle Edge, March 4, 2014
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"When I saw that Amazon Prime was unveiling its original pilot for Z, a biographical series based on Therese Anne Fowler's novel about Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, I raised a wary eyebrow. . . But I was wrong, oh me of little faith. . . [I]t's an enveloping period piece, perfectly cast, and I would like to see the pilot green-lighted into a series so that we can see this romance go up like a rocket with one loud champagne pop and strew debris across mansion lawns and luxury hotel lobbies in its transcontinental path." ―Vanity Fair
“Fowler expertly depicts the rapture of the couple's early love, and later, the bullying and sickness that drove them apart…Z zips along addictively.” ―Entertainment Weekly
“[A] richly imagined novel…Here [Zelda's] touching story is also fascinating and funny, it animates an entire era.” ―People
“A gorgeously rendered piece of literary entertainment, not a biography but rather a love story set in the Jazz Age.” ―The Daily News
“A tender, intimate exploration of a complicated woman.” ―Library Journal
“Fowler's Zelda is all we would expect and more…once she meets the handsome Scott, her life takes off on an arc of indulgence and decadence that still causes us to shake our heads in wonder…soirées with Picasso and his mistress, with Cole Porter and his wife, with Gerald and Sara Murphy, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, Ezra Pound and Jean Cocteau. Scott's friendship with Hemingway verges on a love affair--at least it's close enough to one to make Zelda jealous. Ultimately, both of these tragic, pathetic and grand characters are torn apart by their inability to love or leave each other. Fowler has given us a lovely, sad and compulsively readable book.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Fowler renders rich period detail in this portrayal of a fascinating woman both blessed--and cursed--by fame.” ―Booklist
“With lyrical prose, Fowler's Z beautifully portrays the frenzied lives of, and complicated relationship between, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald...This is a novel that will open readers' minds to the life of an often misunderstood woman--one not easily forgotten.” ―RT Book Reviews
“A novel that is as heartbreaking as it is mesmerizing. About love, desire, betrayal, and one extraordinary woman struggling to shine in the world--even as the one she loves best is drawing the shades. Just magnificent.” ―Caroline Leavitt
“A wonderfully engaging read. With crisp dialogue and vivid descriptions, Z delivers both a compelling love story and a poignant tale of a woman coming into her own as an artist.” ―Heidi W. Durrow
“An utterly engrossing portrayal of Zelda Fitzgerald and the legendary circles in which she moved. In the spirit of Loving Frank and The Paris Wife, Therese Anne Fowler shines a light on Zelda instead of her more famous husband, providing both justice and the voice she struggled to have heard in her lifetime.” ―Sara Gruen
About the Author
THERESE ANNE FOWLER is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald. Raised in the Midwest, she migrated to North Carolina in 1995. She holds a B.A. in sociology/cultural anthropology and an MFA in creative writing from North Carolina State University.
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What comes, here at the dawn of the Jazz Age, is unimagined attention and success and celebrity that will make Scott and Zelda legends in their own time. Everyone wants to meet the dashing young author of the scandalous novel―and his witty, perhaps even more scandalous wife. Zelda bobs her hair, adopts daring new fashions, and revels in this wild new world. Each place they go becomes a playground: New York City, Long Island, Hollywood, Paris, and the French Riviera―where they join the endless party of the glamorous, sometimes doomed Lost Generation that includes Ernest Hemingway, Sara and Gerald Murphy, and Gertrude Stein.
Everything seems new and possible. Troubles, at first, seem to fade like morning mist. But not even Jay Gatsby’s parties go on forever. Who is Zelda, other than the wife of a famous―sometimes infamous―husband? How can she forge her own identity while fighting her demons and Scott’s, too? With brilliant insight and imagination, Therese Anne Fowler’s New York Times bestseller brings us Zelda’s irresistible story as she herself might have told it.
My Thoughts: So much has been written about Scott and Zelda, about their party lifestyle, their drinking, the craziness…
But Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, narrated in Zelda’s imagined first person voice, offers a depth that I haven’t found in other books about her…and them.
I could sense her emotions, her desires, and the sadness that lingered whenever she felt overlooked or tossed aside. I felt rage at the injustice of Scott taking credit for her writings when, at times, his own failed to materialize. His rationalizations might have made sense if he had been more productive, but the excuse that his name on her work would make it more legitimate seemed like his ego talking.
Of course, in the beginning, they were the Golden Couple…romantic, gorgeous, and living a lavish lifestyle. Then they were gallivanting all over Europe, partying with the artistic set, and for a while it seemed as if nothing could stop them.
Based on the true story of their lives, we know there will be no happy ending. But I loved reading about their journey along the way, especially hers. I believe that the era in which Scott and Zelda lived defined much of the path for Zelda, with mental health professionals determining that wellness for a woman meant being a “good wife,” subject to her husband’s needs. An impossible role for a woman like Zelda, in my opinion. A 5 star read.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge F. Scott fan, but "Z" told the other side of the story.
Though there was some mention of Hemingway, it was more "Hemingway said this to Scott, etc." and less about direct interactions between Zelda and Hemingway. I trust Ms. Anne Fowler, as she has clearly done her research, so I guess that's just the way it happened. Still, I couldn't help but be a little disappointed that there weren't more direct confrontations between those two.
Overall, a thrilling read. On many levels. Family, love, marriage, home, ambition, self-destruction, motherhood--Z has it all.