When Zelda Sayre married F. Scott Fitzgerald, the couple instantly became New York celebrities. They were young, glamorous – and very much in love. But in private, their marriage was falling apart. Scott was an alcoholic, and had numerous affairs.
The strain on Zelda was tremendous. After being diagnosed with schizophrenia, Zelda spent time at a residential clinic. There, alone, over the course of six weeks, she wrote her first and only novel: Save Me The Waltz.
When he found out Zelda was muscling in on what he considered to be his territory, her husband was furious. Even more so when he discovered that his wife’s novel was based largely on their private lives…the same private lives he was using as material in his novel, Tender is the Night, which he’d been working on for years. Hellooo, double standards…
Repeat after me: there is no such thing as too much Virginia Woolf.
I tackled her 1928 novel, Orlando, just a few weeks ago. And, before that, I reviewed one of her lesser-known novels, Night and Day, back in 1919.
Too much Woolf? Impossible! I hope you agree.
Once again, a giant THANK YOU to everyone who voted in my poll last week!
You voted for Huckleberry Finn – so I spent all of last week frantically reading it – all 378 pages. Yep, imagine me, sprawled on a towel by the side of my sister-in-law’s pool on Australia Day, reading what many consider the Great American Novel to the strains of “Marco?” and “POLO!”. Not very Australian of me, I know. If it helps, Jimmy Barnes was playing in the background. Honest.
It was a great day. And, as a sidenote: my lovely orange Popular Penguins copy of Huckleberry Finn now smells strangely like sunscreen and chlorine.
I’ve never read an actual war novel before.
I’ve read novels set during wars. The Book Thief is one of my favourites. I cried absolute bucketloads reading that book. I read Connie Willis’ Blackout last year, just before I started Book to the Future (and now the next book is out and I’m wondering how on earth I’m going to squeeze it into my already insane reading schedule. Gah!).
But real war novels are something else entirely. And arguably, when it comes to war as a genre, All Quiet on the Western Front is considered one of the greatest stories of war ever written.
In the days leading up to the end of the year, all I wanted was to settle down with a nice, summery book, to keep me company.
I looked at my pile of Book to the Future reading and decided not to read the book I’d chosen for 1927 until the New Year. I wasn’t in the mood for doom and gloom. I wanted something different: something empowering and positive and inspiring to end the year on a high note.
Gosh. I chose the wrong book…
Some things were made for each other. They were just meant to be. Sure, they’re okay on their own, but together, they’re MAGIC. Like lyrics and music; smoked salmon and cream cheese. Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood…
Anyone who’s been reading Book to the Future for a while now will know that I’ve developed a bit of a literary crush on Edward Morgan Forster. It started when I read Where Angels Fear to Tread, then, two weeks/years later, I read The Longest Journey…
But it was Howards End that turned my mere crush into utter, unbridled infatuation. Swoon.
A week away from blogging was just what I needed.
My thoughts are still frayed around the edges, but things are making much more sense than they were before. I think I was just a little burnt out.
Anyway. I’m back now. Thanks for being patient with me.
Every ten years/weeks here at Book to the Future, I do something a little out of the ordinary.