Therese Anne Fowler's novel "Z" describes the notorious and glamorous life of Zelda Fitzgerald through the fictionalized perspective of Zelda herself. It takes the reader from Zelda's teen years, when she first met her future husband F. Scott Fitzgerald, to their wild and sometimes turbulent life together that took them to New York City, Hollywood, Paris and the French Riviera.
Their relationship "was surely one of the most fascinating literary and romantic partnerships, symbiotic to the point of cannibalism, with Scott drawing freely from Zelda's diaries, letters and experiences (including her treatment for mental illness) for his own work," wrote Penelope Green in The New York Times review of the novel.
More from the Times:
In a review of "The Beautiful and Damned" coyly commissioned as a publicity stunt by The New York Tribune, Zelda wrote, "Mr. Fitzgerald — I believe that is how he spells his name — seems to believe that plagiarism begins at home." But Zelda wrote stories, too — some were published under both their names (better for sales) in popular magazines of the day — as well as plays and, later, a thinly veiled autobiographical novel called "Save Me the Waltz." This she banged out in two months during a stay at a Maryland mental institution, enraging her husband not only because of the speed with which she produced the book, but also because its themes — a married couple in free-fall; a wife hospitalized — were those of the novel he was trying to write ("Tender Is the Night"), and she'd beat him to the finish line.
Fowler joins The Daily Circuit to discuss her novel.