Category Archives: St. Martin’s Griffin

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler

Z Title: Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
Author: Therese Anne Fowler
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
ISBN: 978-1250028662
Genre: Literary Fiction
Pages: 375
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5 Stars

When I started reading Z, I knew about Zelda Fitzgerald but not all that much. I knew only what I think the rest of the world did (well some part of the rest of the world at least) – that she was deemed crazy, that she was unstable and highly emotional and also that F. Scott Fitzgerald had plagiarized from her works to create the classics that would be called his. I also knew of the love between them but also of his affairs and how she took to them. However, after reading “Z” by Therese Anne Fowler, I got a better idea of how much of it was true (given Therese Anne Fowler’s research was to the mark) and how much of it wasn’t. To complement this book, you might also want to read “Careless People” by Sarah Churchwell that traces the life of the Fitzgeralds to the time of The Great Gatsby’s publishing.

“Z” starts in 1918 when a reckless Southern belle Zelda Sayre meets F. Scott Fitzgerald at a country club dance. She is only 18 and life is waiting for her with both arms. He is a young army lieutenant stationed in Alabama and has nothing to his name. She comes from lineage – a judge’s daughter. Her father does not approve of him. He sells his first novel “This Side of Paradise” to Scribner’s and she boards a train to marry him. The rest as we all know is history.

The darling couple of the literary world had the universe at their feet and more. The Jazz Age as we know it. The roaring 20s, the time when everything seemed possible, the era of bright lights, fast music and when anything could be said. Everyone wanted to be with the Fitzgeralds. He for his book and she for her wit and sharp tongue. But there is also trouble in paradise and that is also what Fowler touches on in her book – the fame, its cons, the egos of the husband and wife (and rightly so in her case in my opinion), who was Zelda really and also the doomed Lost Generation with Hemingway, Gertrude Stein and more.

Therese Anne Fowler writes about the literary world no doubt but what she manages to do is also show us who Zelda really was, or who she might have been. The wives of famous men are often in the background and Fowler brings Zelda’s story to the front like perhaps no other author has. The ups and downs of their lives are heartbreakingly told and one can connect with her instantly. I don’t consider this book to be a woman’s perspective but that of another author, another talent who shared the same space as her husband and wrote gregariously but never really got her due. Fowler touches on so many aspects of their lives and also of hers that the book feels complete at every step. Never once did I think I want more. I love literary biographies, though this was touted as a novel, it could have very well been a biography. Read “Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald” if you also want to know more about her.

Don’t forget the watch the series Z: The Beginning of Everything on Amazon Prime, based on this book.

Advertisements

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Landline by Rainbow Rowell Title: Landline
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 978-1250049377
Genre: Fiction, Domestic Life, Women’s Fiction
Pages: 320
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4/5

Rainbow Rowell is the new favourite amongst both, teens and adults. I had heard a lot about Fangirl and Eleanor and Park from a lot of friends and other people. I even bought Eleanor and Park and never got around to reading it. Till “Landline” reached me and I thought of giving it a shot and I was so right in reading it.

“Landline” is about adult relationships, a marriage gone wrong and yet it will also appeal to teenagers, given that most part of the book is about Georgie McCool and Neal’s teenage years. Georgie McCool and Neal have been married for fifteen years and have two daughters, Alice and Naomi. Neal is a stay-at-home Dad and Georgie is a sitcom writer, working crazy hours. She tries to make time for her family, however she is much focused when it comes to her work and perhaps has been losing perspective of the larger things in life.

She skips the Christmas trip to her in-laws in Omaha and her family leaves without her. Neal does not say anything. She is left behind alone in Los Angeles. She feels that her marriage is on the rocks. Till she goes to her mother’s house and life takes a surprising turn when her old landline becomes a way of connecting with her past and with the Neal in the past. Georgie feels that she has been given a chance to fix her life, to fix Neal’s life, to maybe fix their marriage.

“Landline” is a fast read and at the same time, it makes you question your relationships as well. The book is funny as well, more so when it comes to Georgie’s friends and partners, Seth and Scott. I liked the pace of the book and also the way the book is written. The chapters are short (which I personally love) and the pages turn at a very fast pace. Rowell brings to life regular slice-of-life situations with her spin to things. I mean, who could have imagined a story about a relationship and a Landline as the communication means to fix all follies.

“Landline” is a book meant for all – for those who are just starting out in a relationship, for those who are a couple of years in a relationship and for ones who are on rocky road. “Landline” will just make you want to grab the phone and tell your loved one how much you love him or her.

Affiliate Link:

Buy Landline from Flipkart.com