Zelda Fitzgerald by Sally Cline
Her Voice in Paradise

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Zelda Fitzgerald, along with her husband F. Scott Fitzgerald, is remembered above all else as a personification of the style and glamour of the roaring twenties - an age of carefree affluence such as the world has not seen since. But along with the wealth and parties came a troubled mind, at a time when a woman exploiting her freedom of expression was likely to attract accusations of insanity. After 1934 Zelda spent most of her life in a mental institution; outliving her husband by few years, she died in a fire as she was awaiting electroconvulsive therapy in a sanatorium.

Zelda's story has often been told by detractors, who would cast her as a parasite in the marriage - most famously, Ernest Hemingway accused her of taking pleasure in blunting her husband's genius; when she wrote her autobiographical novel, Fitzgerald himself complained she had used his material. But was this fair, when Fitzgerald's novels were based on their life together? Sally Cline's biography, first published in 2003, makes use of letters, journals, and doctor's records to detail the development of their marriage, and to show the collusion between husband and doctors in a misdirected attempt to 'cure' Zelda's illness. Their prescription - no dancing, no painting, and above all, no writing - left her creative urges with no outlet, and was bound to make matters worse for a woman who thrived on the expression of allure and wealth.


About Sally Cline

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Sally Cline is an award-winning writer and scholar and the author of twelve books, including biographies of Zelda Fitzgerald and Radclyffe Hall. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Published July 4, 2013 by Faber Finds. 528 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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That Zelda’s life was tragic almost goes without saying, but Cline carefully assembles evidence to show that she surely had more than her share of sorrows: at the end of her life, Zelda narrowed them down to a list of her four most traumatic experiences, of which the breakdown of her marriage to ...

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Publishers Weekly

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More than half a century after her death in a sanatorium fire in North Carolina, Zelda Fitzgerald (1900–1948) remains a controversial figure. Was she the Golden Girl and Jazz Age icon, the ma

Mar 31 2003 | Read Full Review of Zelda Fitzgerald: Her Voice i...

Star Tribune

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These became painfully entangled with a man who, Cline writes, wanted her to be a "complementary intelligence concerned exclusively with his interests and ambitions," an unfulfilled desire that would ultimately be Zelda's undoing.

Jun 07 2003 | Read Full Review of Zelda Fitzgerald: Her Voice i...

London Review of Books

Pillaging her letters, her journals, her language (it was supposedly Zelda who said, at her daughter’s birth: ‘I hope it’s beautiful and a fool – a beautiful little fool,’ a blessing/curse with which Scott would pinion Daisy Buchanan in Gatsby), Scott did not glorify Zelda, but, according to Milf...

Jun 24 2004 | Read Full Review of Zelda Fitzgerald: Her Voice i...

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