During his lifetime, The Great Gatsby brought F. Scott Fitzgerald only $8397.00 in royalties. Today the book is a staple in high school and university English classrooms and is widely regarded as one of the greatest 20th century American novels. On June 10, 2009, a first edition copy sold for $180,000.00 at Bonham’s in New York.

Scott, as he was called, was born on September 24, 1896, at 481 Laurel Avenue in St. Paul.  This Side of Paradise, his first novel,  was published to wide acclaim in March 1920.  The Beautiful and Damned followed in 1922, The Great Gatsby in 1925, and Tender is the Night in 1934. During the early 1930s, he was one of the highest-paid writers in America, earning $4000.00 per story from The Saturday Evening Post.

East Central Regional Library owns many of Fitzgerald’s works in various formats.  With Baz Luhrmann’s dazzling, ambitious, over-the-top adaptation of The Great Gatsby currently in theatres, there is a renewed interest in Fitzgerald, the Roaring Twenties, and the Jazz Age.  Check out the following, available through any ECRL branch library:

“Beautiful Fools” by R. Clifton Spargo
“Call Me Zelda” by Erika Robuck
“Gatsby’s Girl” by Caroline Preston
“The Paris Wife” by Paula McLain
“The Sun Also Rises” by Ernest Hemingway
“Tales of the Jazz Age” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Z:  A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald” by Therese Ann Fowler    


“A Moveable Feast” by Ernest Hemingway
“Everybody Was So Young” by Amanda Vaill
“Sometimes Madness is Wisdom” by Kendall Taylor
“Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Anything Goes” by Lucy Moore
“Fool for Love:  F. Scott Fitzgerald” by Scott Donaldson  
“Midnight in Paris” starring Owen Wilson
“The Moderns” starring Keith Carradine
“The Great Gatsby” starring Robert Redford
“The Sun Also Rises” starring Ava Gardner
“Chicago” starring Renee Zellweger
“Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries” starring Essie Davis
If you haven’t read F. Scott Fitzgerald since high school, it may be time to revisit Nick Carroway, Daisy Buchanan, and Jay Gatsby. And perhaps ponder again the closing words of Fitzgerald’s most famous novel, which seem to whisper of the Jazz Age and the “Lost Generation” —–
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past”
Bob Gray
Reference and Interlibrary Loan Librarian

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