Book Report: Z

zelda fitzgerald

With the recent release of the movie The Great Gatsby, came a sudden worldwide infatuation with (the author) Scott Fitzgerald and the era of the flapper girls, otherwise known as the 1920’s. Personally, the “roaring 20’s” is an era that has long piqued my interest. My love of Jazz likely had something to do with it (when I studied for a year abroad in Sydney, I would spend my Sundays holed up next to the live jazz band at Darling Harbour’s Pontoon bar with a gin-and-tonic, scribbling away in my Hemingway-esque Moleskin notebook), but I think what really triggered an interest in the 20’s for me was when I was a young girl, about 12 or 13, I read the book “Zelda“, and something about her struck a chord. Something about her wild southern spirit, and her party-girl attitude clouded by her inner demons, made me – and likely most other teenage girls – feel like I could really understand her…

zelda fitzgerald

I had almost completely forgotten about my childhood historical heroine, until a few years ago when I saw the movie Midnight in Paris. I’m a sucker for anything from Woody Allen, never mind a film about a nostalgic screenwriter finds himself mysteriously going back to the 1920s every day at midnight! I fell completely in love with Zelda Fitzgerald’s character in the movie, and I even almost named Hudi, Zelda – not after Zelda Fitzgerald! – but because I had grown to love the name itself. Anyways! A friend of mine (thanks Chanie!) recently lent me her book Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Ann Fowler, and I was completely smitten by it all weekend long. If you have a “thing” for history, or specifically the 20’s, get your hands on Z!

What I loved most about reading the life of Zelda again now years later, is the aspect of the Fitzgerald’s romantic relationship. The whole theme of ‘the beautiful and the damned’ pretty much went right over my head when I was a girl, and now, it, unfortunately, resonated with me in a huge way. It was so fascinating to read about the ins-and-outs of their marriage and madness their love brought to their lives…

zelda fitzgerald

The New York Times summed up their appeal:

They were, arguably, the first celebrity couple of the modern age, Jazz-era avatars running wild in a new century. In the 1920s, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald careered through New York City and Great Neck, Paris and the South of France, leaving in their wake a trail of splintered Champagne glasses and glittering bons mots. But theirs was surely one of the most fascinating literary and romantic partnerships.

Reading about their love – it allured me, and made me weep at the same time. It was awesome as it was tragic. So if you’re looking for a good read…


P.S. Just for fun, I thought I’d share this photo of Woody Allen sporting aviators in lieu of his ever-present iconic wayfarers. I got a kick out of this!

woody allen in aviators