Sometimes Madness Is Wisdom by Kendall Taylor
Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald: A Marriage

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Irresistibly charming, recklessly brilliant, Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald epitomized everything that was beautiful and damned about the Jazz Age. But behind the legend, there was a highly complex and competitive marriage–a union not of opposites but almost of twins who both inspired and tormented each other, and who were ultimately destroyed by their shared fantasies. Now in this frank, stylish, superbly written new book, Kendall Taylor tells the story of the Fitzgerald marriage as it has never been told before.

Following the success of Fitzgerald’s first novel, This Side of Paradise, Scott and Zelda took New York by storm. Scott was recognized as the greatest American author of the twenties and everyone was fascinated with Zelda, his ravishing young wife, known as the model for all his flapper heroines. Ultimately it all fell apart, and Kendall Taylor tells us why. Drawing on previously suppressed material, including crucial medical records, Taylor sheds fresh light on Zelda’s depths and mysteries–her rich but largely unrealized artistic talents, her own ambitions that were unfulfilled because she was Mrs. F. Scott Fitzgerald, her passionate love affairs. Zelda’s contribution to Scott’s fiction, which was based on her diaries, her letters, and her life, was her only great achievement–and for that she may have paid the terrible price of her own sanity.

In Sometimes Madness Is Wisdom, Kendall Taylor has created the definitive Fitzgerald biography. Written with sympathy, original insight, and dazzling style–and featuring memorable appearances from Edmund Wilson, Gertrude Stein, and Ernest Hemingway, among others–this is a stunning portrait of a marriage, an age, and a fabulous but tragic woman.

About Kendall Taylor

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Kendall Taylor, Ph.D., a cultural historian and Fulbright scholar, has been a professor and a museum curator. Her interest in Zelda Fitzgerald began thirty years ago when she was a graduate student at Vanderbilt University and read Arthur Mizener’s biography of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Noting that Mizener’s study left Zelda’s life largely undocumented, Taylor began her own research by speaking with many of the Fitzgeralds’ acquaintances and conducting interviews with Zelda’s friends and family. She has continued that investigation over the past decades. She lives in Canton, New York.
Published August 28, 2001 by Ballantine Books. 464 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Sometimes Madness Is Wisdom

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A joint biography of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald by cultural historian Taylor, who dwells on the disintegration of their marriage and Zelda’s slow descent into madness.

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Publishers Weekly

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In this absorbing yet ultimately disappointing account of the legendary duo, Kendall, a cultural historian and former university professor, recounts the tragically dysfunctional marriage of two gif

Jul 16 2001 | Read Full Review of Sometimes Madness Is Wisdom: ...

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And when we view Scott’s life (via journal entries, letters, and personal remembrances of family and acquaintances), Taylor has almost magically managed to render it distinctly through Zelda’s eyes.

Nov 08 2001 | Read Full Review of Sometimes Madness Is Wisdom: ...

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