Portal:1920s/Selected biography/2

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Zelda Sayre at age 17

Zelda Fitzgerald (1900–1948) was a novelist and the wife of writer F. Scott Fitzgerald. She was an icon of the 1920s—dubbed by her husband "the first American Flapper". After the success of his first novel This Side of Paradise, the Fitzgeralds became celebrities. The newspapers of New York saw them as embodiments of the Jazz Age and the Roaring Twenties: young, rich, beautiful, and energetic. Following a whirlwind courtship, they married in 1920, and spent the early part of the decade as literary celebrities in New York. Later in the 1920s, they moved to Europe, recast as famous expatriates of the Lost Generation. While Scott received acclaim for The Great Gatsby and his short stories, their marriage was a tangle of jealousy, resentment and acrimony. The strain of her tempestuous marriage, Scott's increasing alcoholism, and her growing instability presaged Zelda's admittance to a sanatorium in 1930. While in a Maryland clinic, she wrote a semi-autobiographical novel, Save Me the Waltz, which was published in 1932. Scott was furious that she had used material from their life together, though he had done the same, such as in Tender Is the Night, published in 1934. Scott died in Hollywood in 1940, having last seen Zelda a year and a half earlier. She spent her remaining years working on a second novel, which she never completed. In 1948, the hospital at which she had been a patient caught fire, causing her death.