Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin by Marion Meade
Writers Running Wild in the Twenties

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In her exuberant new work, BOBBED HAIR AND BATHTUB GIN, Marion Meade presents a portrait of four extraordinary writers--Dorothy Parker, Zelda Fitzgerald, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Edna Ferber--whose loves, lives, and literary endeavors embodied the spirit of the 1920s.

Capturing the jazz rhythms and desperate gaiety that defined the era, Meade gives us Parker, Fitzgerald, Millay, and Ferber, traces the intersections of their lives, and describes the men (F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edmund Wilson, Harold Ross, and Robert Benchley) who influenced them, loved them, and sometimes betrayed them. Here are the social and literary triumphs (Parker's Round Table witticisms appeared almost daily in the newspapers and Ferber and Millay won Pulitzer Prizes) and inevitably the penances each paid: crumbled love affairs, abortions, depression, lost beauty, nervous breakdowns, and finally, overdoses and even madness.

These literary heroines did what they wanted, said what they thought, living wholly in the moment. They kicked open the door for twentieth-century women writers and set a new model for every woman trying to juggle the serious issues of economic independence, political power, and sexual freedom. Meade recreates the excitement, romance, and promise of the 1920s, a decade celebrated for cultural innovation--the birth of jazz, the beginning of modernism--and social and sexual liberation, bringing to light, as well, the anxiety and despair that lurked beneath the nonstop partying and outrageous behavior.

A vibrant mixture of literary scholarship, social history, and scandal, BOBBED HAIR AND BATHTUB GIN is a rich evocation of a period that will forever intrigue and captivate us.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Marion Meade

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Marion Meade studied at Northwestern University in Illinois and later received an M.S. from Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. She worked as a freelance writer and her articles have appeared in leading magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, McCall's, The Village Voice, Ms. Magazine and Cosmopolitan. Meade has written novels, biographies and non-fiction books. BITCHING was a significant contribution to the second phase of development in the feminist movement. She has written biographies of Victoria Woodhull (FREE WOMAN), ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE, MADAME BLAVATSKY, Buster Keaton (CUT TO THE CHASE), Woody Allen (THE UNRULY LIFE OF WOODY ALLEN) and Dorothy Parker (WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS?). She has published two historical novels: SYBILLE, which narrates the life of a woman troubadour in thirteenth century southern France, during Europe's first great holocaust, the Albigensian crusade and STEALING HEAVEN, The Love Story of Heloise and Abelard. She lives in New York City.
Published July 29, 2009 by Nan A. Talese. 352 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin

Kirkus Reviews

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Hard to believe there's anything new to learn about the celebrated writers in the tap-happy ’20s, but veteran celebrity biographer Meade (The Unruly Life of Woody Allen, 2000, etc.), her eye ever on the swinging detail, manages to scrounge a fresh tidbit as she traces the erratic intersection of ...

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Publishers Weekly

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This light, engaging book spends the years from 1920 to 1930 with Zelda Fitzgerald, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Dorothy Parker and Edna Ferber.

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Book Reporter

Wells, who makes a brief appearance at a party in BOBBED HAIR AND BATHTUB GIN, was, of course, the author of THE TIME MACHINE.

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But she was not unhappy either.” The strongest indictment of the book’s vagueness comes in the author’s own acknowledgements, where she recounts wondering while writing Bobbed Hair what tied these lives together when they didn’t make up “even an informal circle.” “Eventually,” she writes, “I real...

Apr 06 2004 | Read Full Review of Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin: ...

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