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The Great Gatsby

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Book Details

Title:The Great Gatsby
Author:
Fitzgerald, F. Scott (Francis Scott Key)   
(3 of 5 for author by title)
Tender is the Night
Echoes of the Jazz Age, from Scribner's Magazine, November 1931, Volume XC, Number 5
Published:   1926
Tags:fiction, historical, Modern Library's 100 Best Novels, Guardian's 100 Greatest Novels of All Time (2003), film adaptation
Description:

The Great Gatsby follows a cast of characters living in the fictional towns of West Egg and East Egg on prosperous Long Island in the summer of 1922. The story primarily concerns the young and mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and his quixotic passion and obsession with the beautiful former debutante Daisy Buchanan. Considered to be Fitzgerald’s magnum opus, The Great Gatsby explores themes of decadence, idealism, resistance to change, social upheaval, and excess, creating a portrait of the Roaring Twenties that has been described as a cautionary tale regarding the American Dream.—Wikipedia. [Suggest a different description.]

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Author Bio for Fitzgerald, F. Scott (Francis Scott Key)

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F. Scott Fitzgerald (24 September, 1896—21 December, 1940) born Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was a short story writer and novelist. He is considered one of the pre-eminent authors in the history of American literature due almost entirely to the enormous posthumous success of his third book, The Great Gatsby.

He began his writing career at age 13 when he saw his first piece of writing appear in print: a detective story published in the school newspaper at St. Paul (Minn.) Academy. At Princeton, he firmly dedicated himself to honing his craft as a writer, writing scripts for Princeton’s famous Triangle Club musicals as well as frequent articles for the Princeton Tiger humor magazine and stories for the Nassau Literary Magazine. Fitzgerald’s writing came at the expense of his coursework. He was placed on academic probation, and, in 1917, he dropped out of school to join the Army. The next three years, he worked a few months in advertising and then quit to write full-time in St. Paul. After several rejections and rewrites of his first novel, it was accepted and published.

This Side of Paradise, published in 1920, is a largely an autobiographical story about love and greed. The success of This Side of Paradise, made Fitzgerald famous at the age of 24. One week later, he married the woman he loved and his muse, Zelda Sayre. He eagerly embraced his newly minted celebrity status and embarked on an extravagant lifestyle that earned him a reputation as a playboy and hindered his reputation as a serious literary writer.

Also, in 1920, and continuing throughout the rest of his career, Fitzgerald supported himself financially by writing great numbers of short stories for popular publications such as The Saturday Evening Post and Esquire. Some of his most notable stories include “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The Camel’s Back,” and “The Last of the Belles.”

In 1922, Fitzgerald published his second novel, The Beautiful and Damned, the story of the troubled marriage of Anthony and Gloria Patch. The Beautiful and Damned helped to cement Fitzgerald’s status as one of the great chroniclers and satirists of the culture of wealth, extravagance and ambition that emerged during the affluent 1920s—what became known as the Jazz Age.

The Great Gatsby, published in 1925, is considered Fitzgerald’s finest work, with its beautiful lyricism, pitch-perfect portrayal of the Jazz Age, and searching critiques of materialism, love and the American Dream. Although The Great Gatsby was well-received when it was published, it was not until the 1950s and ’60s, long after Fitzgerald’s death, that it achieved its stature as the definitive portrait of the “Roaring Twenties,” as well as one of the greatest American novels ever written. It is listed on both the Guardian's 100 Greatest Novels of All Time and Modern Library's 100 Best Novels.

In 1934, after years of toil, Fitzgerald finally published his fourth novel, Tender is the Night, about an American psychiatrist in Paris, France, and his troubled marriage to a wealthy patient. The book was inspired by his wife Zelda’s struggle with mental illness.

By the end of the 1920s Fitzgerald descended into drinking, and Zelda had a mental breakdown. Following the unsuccessful Tender Is the Night, Fitzgerald moved to Hollywood and became a scriptwriter. He died of a heart attack in 1940, at age 44, with his final novel, The Love of the Last Tycoon, only half completed.

—biography.com

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