Zelda: A Biography (Paperback)

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Zelda: A Biography By Nancy Milford Cover Image

Staff Reviews

Born Zelda Sayre to Alabama royalty at the tail of the Gilded Age, much would speculated and supposed about this spirited child throughout her brief and sensational life. Nancy Milford has sifted truth from tabloid in this exceptional exploration of the parallels and perpendiculars between the fictionalized Zelda as portrayed in the Fitzgerald canon and the woman as she existed in the world. Socialite, flapper, schizophrenic, novelist, dancer - Zelda Fitzgerald the human is now somewhat demystified.

— From Steven


“Profound, overwhelmingly moving . . . a richly complex love story.” — New York Times

Acclaimed biographer Nancy Milford brings to life the tormented, elusive personality of Zelda Sayre and clarifies as never before Zelda’s relationship with her husband F. Scott Fitzgerald—tracing the inner disintegration of a gifted, despairing woman, torn by the clash between her husband’s career and her own talent.

Zelda Sayre’s stormy life spanned from notoriety as a spirited Southern beauty to success as a gifted novelist and international celebrity at the side of her husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Zelda and Fitzgerald were one of the most visible couples of the Jazz Age, inhabiting and creating around them a world of excitement, romance, art, and promise. Yet their tumultuous relationship precipitated a descent into depression and mental instability for Zelda, leaving her to spend the final twenty years of her life in hospital care, until a fire at a sanitarium claimed her life.

Incorporating years of exhaustive research and interviews, Milford illuminates Zelda’s nuanced and elusive personality, giving character to both her artistic vibrancy and to her catastrophic collapse.

About the Author

Nancy Milford holds both an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Columbia University where Zelda was her dissertation. She has held a Guggenheim Fellowship in Biography, and has served on the boards of the Authors Guild, the Society of American Historians, and the Writers Room, of which she is a founder. Her most recent book is Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay. She lives in Manhattan.

Praise For…

“Nancy Milford has sought to make us see Zelda as a separate person and, by that, the Fitzgeralds through a woman’s eyes . . . . A superb portrait.” — Washington Post Book World

“Profound, overwhelmingly moving…a richly complex love story.” — New York Times

“Milford’s fine book is itself a work of art.” — Wall Street Journal

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062089397
ISBN-10: 0062089390
Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics
Publication Date: November 29th, 2011
Pages: 464
Language: English
Series: P.S.