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Sometimes Madness Is Wisdom: Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald: A Marriage (2001)

by Kendall Taylor

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1691128,918 (3.4)2
Irresistibly charming, recklessly brilliant, Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald epitomized everything that was beautiful and damned about the Jazz Age. But behind the legend, there was a highly complex and competitive marriage–a union not of opposites but almost of twins who both inspired and tormented each other, and who were ultimately destroyed by their shared fantasies. Now in this frank, stylish, superbly written new book, Kendall Taylor tells the story of the Fitzgerald marriage as it has never been told before. Following the success of Fitzgerald’s first novel, This Side of Paradise, Scott and Zelda took New York by storm. Scott was recognized as the greatest American author of the twenties and everyone was fascinated with Zelda, his ravishing young wife, known as the model for all his flapper heroines. Ultimately it all fell apart, and Kendall Taylor tells us why. Drawing on previously suppressed material, including crucial medical records, Taylor sheds fresh light on Zelda’s depths and mysteries–her rich but largely unrealized artistic talents, her own ambitions that were unfulfilled because she was Mrs. F. Scott Fitzgerald, her passionate love affairs. Zelda’s contribution to Scott’s fiction, which was based on her diaries, her letters, and her life, was her only great achievement–and for that she may have paid the terrible price of her own sanity. In Sometimes Madness Is Wisdom, Kendall Taylor has created the definitive Fitzgerald biography. Written with sympathy, original insight, and dazzling style–and featuring memorable appearances from Edmund Wilson, Gertrude Stein, and Ernest Hemingway, among others–this is a stunning portrait of a marriage, an age, and a fabulous but tragic woman.… (more)
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» See also 2 mentions

I have been a fan of [a:F. Scott Fitzgerald|3190|F. Scott Fitzgerald|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1427040571p2/3190.jpg] for most of my life. I have only read [b:The Great Gatsby|4671|The Great Gatsby|F. Scott Fitzgerald|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1490528560s/4671.jpg|245494] but I plan on reading his other novels. Besides the novels he wrote, what I find most interesting about him is his life and his marriage to [a:Zelda Fitzgerald|28243|Zelda Fitzgerald|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1427041106p2/28243.jpg].
The story of their marriage continues to interest me.
After reading this book, I'm convinced that well he may have been a great writer, he wasn't always a great man or the best husband.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in knowing more about F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda Fitzgerald, or their troubled marriage. ( )
  ZelmerWilson | Oct 31, 2019 |
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Born on Tuesday, July 24, 1900...[Zelda] was named for the gypsy heroine in Robert Edward Francillon's 1874 romantic novel Zelda's Fortune.
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Irresistibly charming, recklessly brilliant, Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald epitomized everything that was beautiful and damned about the Jazz Age. But behind the legend, there was a highly complex and competitive marriage–a union not of opposites but almost of twins who both inspired and tormented each other, and who were ultimately destroyed by their shared fantasies. Now in this frank, stylish, superbly written new book, Kendall Taylor tells the story of the Fitzgerald marriage as it has never been told before. Following the success of Fitzgerald’s first novel, This Side of Paradise, Scott and Zelda took New York by storm. Scott was recognized as the greatest American author of the twenties and everyone was fascinated with Zelda, his ravishing young wife, known as the model for all his flapper heroines. Ultimately it all fell apart, and Kendall Taylor tells us why. Drawing on previously suppressed material, including crucial medical records, Taylor sheds fresh light on Zelda’s depths and mysteries–her rich but largely unrealized artistic talents, her own ambitions that were unfulfilled because she was Mrs. F. Scott Fitzgerald, her passionate love affairs. Zelda’s contribution to Scott’s fiction, which was based on her diaries, her letters, and her life, was her only great achievement–and for that she may have paid the terrible price of her own sanity. In Sometimes Madness Is Wisdom, Kendall Taylor has created the definitive Fitzgerald biography. Written with sympathy, original insight, and dazzling style–and featuring memorable appearances from Edmund Wilson, Gertrude Stein, and Ernest Hemingway, among others–this is a stunning portrait of a marriage, an age, and a fabulous but tragic woman.

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