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This Side of Paradise


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About the Author

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, and educated at the Newman School and at Princeton. This Side of Paradise, his first novel, was published in 1920 and transformed him virtually overnight into a spokesman for his generation and a prophet of the Jazz Age. That same year, he married Zelda Sayre, and the two became America's most celebrated expatriates, dividing their time between New York, Paris, and the Riviera during the twenties. Fitzgerald's most famous novel, The Great Gatsby, was published in 1925, and Tender Is the Night in 1934. After Scott and Zelda were forced by money and health problems to return to the United States, Fitzgerald became a writer for Hollywood movie studios. He died while working on his unfinished novel of Hollywood, The Last Tycoon. His other works include Flappers and Philosophers (1920), The Beautiful and Damned (1922), Tales of the Jazz Age (1922), All the Sad Young Men (1926), and Taps at Reveille (1935).

The country's leading authority on F. Scott Fitzgerald for more than five decades, Matthew J. Bruccoli was born in the Bronx in 1931. He was Emily Brown Jefferies Distinguished Professor at the University of South Carolina and author or editor of more than fifty books, including the standard Fitzgerald biography, Some Sort of Epic Grandeur. Among his other subjects were Ernest Hemingway, John O'Hara, Thomas Wolfe, James Gould Cozzens, and Ross Macdonald, and he edited the letters and notebooks of Vladimir Nabokov. He died in 2008.


The first novel that launched Fitzgerald to literary fame and glory in 1920 is now in the public domain and will undoubtedly be released by a number of publishers. These two editions represent both ends of the spectrum. The Cambridge edition is the latest in its ongoing series of corrected texts of Fitzgerald's work. Aimed at the scholarly audience, it includes an introduction, explanatory notes, and illustrations. The Penguin paperback also has an introduction but is a basic, no-frills edition, which is adequate for the casual reader. Serious American literature collections should stock the Cambridge text, which is probably the finest edition of this novel to date.

Fitzgerald's first novel, about a coterie of Princeton socialites, appears in a 75th anniversary edition. (Mar.)

"As nearly perfect as such a work could be . . . The glorious spirit of abounding youth glows throughout this fascinating tale. Amory, the romantic egotist, is essentially American." -The New York Times

"[A] bravura display of literary promise . . . Fitzgerald's prose is capable of soaring like a violin, and of moving his readers with understated husky notes as well as with notes of piercing purity . . . Fitzgerald knew that glamour was bound to fail, that there is an ineradicable human instinct for it which is utterly mistaken." -from the Introduction by Craig Raine

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