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Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald Paperback – 12 Sep 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Two Roads (12 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444761439
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444761436
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


An often superb novel. (Independent on Sunday)

Finely researched, entertaining and very plausible. (Vogue UK)

A brilliant example of what biographical fiction can be. Read it, read it, read it. (Daily Mail)

An utterly engrossing portrayal of Zelda Fitzgerald and the legendary circles in which she moved. In the spirit of Loving Frank and The Paris Wife, Therese Anne Fowler shines a light on Zelda instead of her more famous husband, providing both justice and the voice she struggled to have heard in her lifetime. (Sara Gruen, author of WATER FOR ELEPHANTS)

If ever a couple ... became an era, it was F Scott Fitzgerald and his glamorous "flapper" wife, Zelda. They were the Jazz Age. (Independent)

A novel that is as hearbreaking as it is mesmerizing. Just magnificent. (Caroline Leavitt, author of PICTURES OF YOU)

Fowler renders rich period detail in this portrayal of a fascinating woman both blessed - and cursed - by fame. (Booklist)

Fowler's richly imagined portrait of the Jazz Age's literary royalty is a wonderfully engaging read. With crisp dialogue and vivid descriptions, Z delivers both a compelling love story and a poignant tale of a woman coming into her own as an artist. (Heidi W. Durrow, author of THE GIRL WHO FELL FROM THE SKY)

From her youth as the belle of Montgomery to the heady early days of marriage to the inevitable breakdowns, Fowler chronicles Zelda's incredible life with sympathy and compassion. (Bookpage)

Fowler portrays a softer, more anxious Zelda, but loveable nonetheless, whose world is one of textured sensuality. (Publishers Weekly)

What Fowler so masterfully achieves in Z is a thoughtful portrait of a woman who might not have been as 'crazy' as we all had been led to believe, but one who was constantly disregarded by a jealous and narcissistic husband. (Book Reporter)

Though there are many biographies of the Fitzgeralds, Fowler's well-researched fictional account provides a tender, intimate exploration of a complicated and captivating woman ... Fowler's detailed prose will certainly spark fresh interest in the most famous couple of the Roaring Twenties. (Library Journal)

Fowler's Zelda is all we would expect and more... Fowler has given us a lovely, sad and compulsively readable book. (Kirkus (starred review))

Narrated by Fowler's imagined voice of Zelda Fitzgerald, this is the touching and ultimately tragic love story of Zelda and her husband, F Scott Fitzgerald. Like much of their life, reality played like an F Scott Fitzgerald novel - full of glamour, alcohol and bad behaviour. This is an engrossing read of celebrity life. In some ways the story is specific to the between the war years and that fascinating creative group of writers and artists. In particular the opportunities for women beyond the role of home-maker drew Zelda and frustrated Scott. In other ways, perhaps things haven't changed that much as bright starts shine and burn out. Amy Winehouse anyone? (Bookbag)

Thoughtful and emotionally charged, Z is a mesmerising piece of fiction that brings to life an era and the set of people who defined it. Faithfully researched, written with brio and style, it is a must-read for Fitzgerald obsessives but should also captivate readers coming new to the legend. (New Zealand Herald)

Sassy, witty and compulsively readable, Z is destined to put Fowler on the literary map. (Weekend Herald (NZ))

Z is a fictional account of Zelda Fitzgerald's life - giving voice to the determined, intelligent and vibrant woman who struggled to find her identity in the shadow of her husband, whose demons challenged them both with heartbreaking consequences. An unforgettable read. (Australian Woman's Weekly)

Captures the playful, deeply loving, sexy relationship between the young Fitzgeralds. (Huffington Post)

A gorgeously rendered piece of literary entertainment, not a biography but rather a love story set in the Jazz Age. (New York Daily News)

A must-read. (Marie Claire)

Zips along addictively and exposes the dark side of artistic ambition. (Entertainment Weekly)

A thrilling read. (

A treat. (Sunday Times Style)

In her new novel Z, Fowler draws a compellingly complete portrait of that other Paris (and New York and St. Paul and Long Island) wife: mother, painter, writer, flapper, feminist Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald. (USA Today)

Fowler articulates the story of Zelda in the first person, encapsulating her struggle exquisitely. She amplifies Zelda's whisper into a lion's roar. Our girl finally gets the justice, autonomy, and recognition she so desperately craved in her lifetime. The era is projected in full technicolour and makes for utterly compulsive reading. (Stylist)

Book Description

The New York Times bestselling novel of the woman dubbed 'The First Flapper' - Zelda Fitzgerald, wife and muse to F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of The Great Gatsby (now a major motion picture directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan). Set against the glamorous backdrop of the Roaring Twenties, Z is the story of the golden couple who had it all, but who weren't destined for a happy ending.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By lovemurakami TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 April 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I am a huge fan of F Scott Fitzgerald, and have always been fascinated with the relationship between himself and Zelda. Their complex relationship makes for great reading, they were a fascinating couple who both had their own personal demons to contend with.

In Z Therese Anne Fowler has produced a fictional account of the life of Zelda and Scott and has produced a wonderful novel. It reminded me of The Paris Wife by Paula Mclain, which deals with Ernest Hemingways marriage to Hadley Richardson, where Hadley shines out of the novel, and in fact Zelda and Scott appear. Here it's Zelda who takes centre stage, and we are given an insight into her life as a wife, mother and an artist/writer whose star was clouded by that of her husband. As many biographers and critics have suggested as well as Fowler, people tend to either believe that Zelda destroyed Scott's life or that infact it was the other way around and that it was Scott who ruined hers.

Z is a great read showing how two people who came together, became iconic figures of the 20th century due to his incredible talent and due to the tragedy of their lives fascinated and captivated all who followed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Julia Flyte TOP 100 REVIEWER on 10 Jun. 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is the story of F Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Fitzgerald, narrated by Zelda. It opens about the time that they meet in Montgomery, Alabama in 1918, and concludes with Scott's death in 1940. The majority of the book is taken up with the crazy years when they travelled endlessly from New York, to Paris, to the South of France, hanging out with Pablo Picasso and Cole Porter and Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway and a host of other literary and artistic luminaries. Their marriage was tempestuous: at times glamourous and golden, at others a tangle of alcohol, infidelity and jealousy. Zelda was Scott's muse and he wanted their lives to reflect the lives of those that he wrote about. He also had no compunction about publishing her writing under his own name and belittling her attempts to establish her own artistic career.

It took me a while to get into this book. My initial feeling was that Zelda was horribly immature and superficial, while Scott was obsessed with fame. I didn't find either of their personalities very appealing. However as the book goes on, Zelda becomes a more sympathetic character. Initially she loves the party lifestyle as much as Scott does and revels in their stimulating social circles. But gradually she starts to tire of it, especially after parenthood and health issues take their toll on her. This is when the relationship starts to go bad, as Scott resents her failing to keep up with him and complete her half of the "Golden Couple". When he befriends Ernest Hemingway, whom Zelda dislikes, that friendship also has a toxic effect on their relationship.

For the most part I found this book incredibly interesting and I loved the insight into this magic time that was the Jazz Era.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 Feb. 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the fictional story of Zelda Fitzgerald's life, as she looks back on her girlhood in Alabama, her meeting with husband F. Scott Fitzgerald and the early excitement of their marriage - which descends into resentment, alcohol abuse and recriminations. I have always loved F. Scott Fitzgerald's novels and, as this story is told from Zelda's viewpoint, it presents an often unsympathetic portrait of him. Opinion is divided as to whether it was Zelda who caused problems in the marriage and Scott's writing career, or Scott who was to blame for Zelda's later mental health issues. The truth is probably that they both held some blame, but this is a novel and the author certainly creates a sympathetic character in Zelda.

We follow the young Scott and Zelda as they become the original celebrity couple, tasting early success and fame in New York, to the shattered illusions of later life. On the way there is uncertainty, tragedy, debt and lots of lots of parties. Much of the most interesting parts of the book deals with their life in Paris and the meeting with Hemingway which changes their life, and relationship, forever. If this period interests you, you might well enjoy The Paris Wife, which tells the story of Hemingway's first wife, and has a similar feel to this novel. Overall, this is a very interesting tale, about a fascinating and beautiful woman who deserves to be remembered as more than Mrs Fitzgerald and which I enjoyed immensely.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By maggie nicolson on 22 Jun. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I loved that the book was written from the perspective of Zelda Fitzgerald and showed the societal barriers to women having a creative life in their own right. It was chilling to read that her ambitions as a dancer were blamed for her mental distress rather than the fact that she was offered an amazing opportunity to be a lead ballerina and had to turn it down because of jealous opposition from her husband. She was prepared to defy him but could have lost her daughter because of the law which favoured the father in the event of disputes over custody and even access. I felt it was a thoughtful as well as exciting book. It also showed the tragedy of creative lives ruined by alcohol addiction.
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