Writing Gatsby: The Real Story of the Writing of the Greatest American Novel

Writing Gatsby: The Real Story of the Writing of the Greatest American Novel

by William Elliott Hazelgrove
Writing Gatsby: The Real Story of the Writing of the Greatest American Novel

Writing Gatsby: The Real Story of the Writing of the Greatest American Novel

by William Elliott Hazelgrove


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The Great Gatsby has sold 25 million copies worldwide and sells 500,000 copies annually. The book has been made into three movies and produced for the theatre. It is considered the Greatest American Novel ever written. Yet, the story of how The Great Gatsby was written has not been told except as embedded chapters of much larger biographies. This story is one of heartbreak, infidelity, struggle, alcoholism, financial hardship, and one man’s perseverance to be faithful to the raw diamond of his talent in circumstances that would have crushed others.

The story of the writing of The Great Gatsby is a story in itself. Fitzgerald had descended into an alcoholic run of parties on Great Neck, New York, where he and Zelda had taken a home. His main source of income was writing for the “slicks,” or magazines of the day, the main source being the Saturday Evening Post, where Fitzgerald’s name on a story got him as much as $4,000. Then on May 1, 1924, he, Zelda, and baby daughter Scottie quietly slipped away from New York on a “dry” steamer to France, the writer in search of sobriety, sanity, and his muse, resulting in the publication of The Great Gatsby a year later.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493068036
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 10/01/2022
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 1,116,959
Product dimensions: 6.35(w) x 9.32(h) x 1.11(d)

About the Author

William Elliott Hazelgrove has a master's in history and is the best-selling author of ten novels and seven narrative nonfiction books, including Madame President: The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson, Forging a President: How the West Created Teddy Roosevelt (Regnery Publishing), and Al Capone and the 1933 World’s Fair (Rowman & Littlefield). He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Prologue: The Riviera: September 1925 1

Chapter 1 Myrtle Wilson: 1924 3

Chapter 2 Ain't We Got Fun: 1920 7

Chapter 3 Flat as One of Aunt Jemima's Pancakes: 1923 19

Chapter 4 Rich Girls Don't Marry Poor Boys: 1911 27

Chapter 5 The Rough Crossing: 1924 37

Chapter 6 Last of the Belles: 1917 43

Chapter 7 The Left Bank: 1924 49

Chapter 8 An Oxford Man: 1910 55

Chapter 9 How To Live on Practically Nothing: 1924 65

Chapter 10 A Northern Mans Dream of the South: 1918 71

Chapter 11 Cliff Diving: 1924 81

Chapter 12 The Sensible Thing: 1918 87

Chapter 13 Passion at First Glance: 1924 95

Chapter 14 Repeating the Past: 1918 99

Chapter 15 A Playmate: 1924 109

Chapter 16 The American Dream: 1920 113

Chapter 17 Jozan: 1924 123

Chapter 18 A Perfect Fool: 1921 129

Chapter 19 Smooth as Two Cats: 1924 139

Chapter 20 A Beautiful Little Fool: 1921 145

Chapter 21 Jumping off the Cliff: 1924 151

Chapter 22 The Beautiful and the Damned: 1922 155

Chapter 23 You Never Loved Him: 1924 161

Chapter 24 Absolution: 1922 167

Chapter 25 The Foul Dust: 1924 177

Chapter 26 The Confusion of a Simple Mind: 1924 183

Chapter 27 The Death Car: 1924 187

Chapter 28 That Awful Thing: 1924 195

Chapter 29 Waiting for Gatsby: 1925 203

Chapter 30 The Germs of Bitterness: 1925 209

Chapter 31 Finding Gatsby: 1940 215

Chapter 32 Writing Gatsby 221

Epilogue 229

Notes 237

Bibliography 263

Index 269

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