A Life in Letters: A New Collection Edited and Annotated by Matthew J. Bruccoli

A Life in Letters: A New Collection Edited and Annotated by Matthew J. Bruccoli

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by F. Scott Fitzgerald
     
 

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A vibrant self-portrait of an artist whose work was his life.
In this new collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald's letters, edited by leading Fitzgerald scholar and biographer Matthew J. Bruccoli, we see through his own words the artistic and emotional maturation of one of America's most enduring and elegant authors. A Life in Letters is the most

Overview

A vibrant self-portrait of an artist whose work was his life.
In this new collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald's letters, edited by leading Fitzgerald scholar and biographer Matthew J. Bruccoli, we see through his own words the artistic and emotional maturation of one of America's most enduring and elegant authors. A Life in Letters is the most comprehensive volume of Fitzgerald's letters — many of them appearing in print for the first time. The fullness of the selection and the chronological arrangement make this collection the closest thing to an autobiography that Fitzgerald ever wrote.
While many readers are familiar with Fitzgerald's legendary "jazz age" social life and his friendships with Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Edmund Wilson, and other famous authors, few are aware of his writings about his life and his views on writing. Letters to his editor Maxwell Perkins illustrate the development of Fitzgerald's literary sensibility; those to his friend and competitor Ernest Hemingway reveal their difficult relationship. The most poignant letters here were written to his wife, Zelda, from the time of their courtship in Montgomery, Alabama, during World War I to her extended convalescence in a sanatorium near Asheville, North Carolina. Fitzgerald is by turns affectionate and proud in his letters to his daughter, Scottie, at college in the East while he was struggling in Hollywood.
For readers who think primarily of Fitzgerald as a hard-drinking playboy for whom writing was effortless, these letters show his serious, painstaking concerns with creating realistic, durable art.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
James Dickey A Life in Letters is the closest thing to an F. Scott Fitzgerald autobiography, which is much to be cherished.

J.T. Barbarese Philadelphia Inquirer The letters reveal a powerful and unsparing literary intelligence...extraordinary.

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Organized chronologically, this correspondence--edited by eminent Fitzgerald scholar Bruccoli and freelance writer, Baughman--offers an accessible self-portrait of the writer (1896-1940). Early letters to his editor, Maxwell Perkins, and friends, Edmund Wilson and Ernest Hemingway, document Fitzgerald's devotion to craft, exemplified by The Great Gatsby (1925), as well as the novelist's ever-present financial problems, which kept him churning out short stories for the magazine market. Letters to his wife, Zelda--when she was hospitalized for mental illness--detail the destruction of their marriage. Fitzgerald felt it was caused by Zelda's problems, while she blamed Fitzgerald's alcoholism (a letter giving her version is included). A bitter letter Fitzgerald wrote to their daughter, Scottie, accuses Zelda of wrecking his health and talent. Despite his lack of perspective and his difficult life, Fitzgerald comes across, unsurprisingly, as warm, witty and effervescent. (July)
Library Journal
With a series of definitive editions of his novels currently in production and the recent release of a major biography (Scott Fitzgerald, LJ 4/1/94), the Fitzgerald renaissance is on. Although collections of Fitzgerald's letters have appeared before, the intent of this assemblage is to unfurl Scott's life through his private words. To that end, these missives, which range from brief telegrams to lengthy gospels, are divided into five sections by years and major episodes in Scott's life, e.g., ``Europe, The Great Gatsby: 1924-1930.'' Also included throughout are facsimiles of several of the originals. The surprisingly pleasant tone of the letters belie all the horrors Fitzgerald had stored up in his ghostly heart, including the alcoholism and madness lurking backstage. Essential reading for a full understanding of Fitzgerald as an artist and a man, this collection should be purchased by serious American literature collections.-Michael Rogers, ``Library Journal''

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780684801537
Publisher:
Scribner
Publication date:
05/03/1995
Pages:
528
Sales rank:
620,910
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

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What People are saying about this

James Dickey
A Life in Letters is the closest thing to an F. Scott Fitzgerald autobiography, which is much to be cherished.

Meet the Author

F. Scott Fitgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1896. He attended Princeton University, joined the United States Army during World War I, and published his first novel, This Side of Paradise, in 1920. That same year he married Zelda Sayre and the couple divided their time among New York, Paris, and the Riviera. Fitzgerald's masterpieces include The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby, and Tender Is the Night. He died at the age of forty-four, while working on The Love of the Last Tycoon. Fitzgerald stands out as one of the most important American writers of the twentieth century.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
September 24, 1896
Date of Death:
December 21, 1940
Place of Birth:
St. Paul, Minnesota
Education:
Princeton University

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A Life in Letters: A New Collection Edited and Annotated by Matthew J. Bruccoli 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful way to get to know this iconic American writer! I loved reading each and every letter of his that was included in this book and I began to understand Fitzgerald the man better than I had before reading this poignant set of personal letters. Of course I highly recommend it to everyone and especially those who have doubts about F. Scott Fitzgerald's troubled personality.