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The Great Gatsby (Paperback - 2017)

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About the Book

The Great Gatsby is generally considered to be the finest novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Written in an easy style, without complex literary experiment, at the height of the author’s maturity, it is now an undisputed classic of American literature and is one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century. The novel brilliantly brings out Fitzgerald’s central theme of the dark surrounding the brightest light, the shallowness of many human friendships, and the eerie silence as the syncopated rhythm of the jazz fades. It brilliantly captures both the disillusion of post-war America and the moral failure of a society obsessed with wealth and status. The novel tells the story of the mysterious Jay Gatsby, an army lieutenant, who lives in a luxurious mansion on the affluent Long Island shore. His lavish parties for the ‘glitterati’ of the day had become legendary on the island. Yet amid the throng of guests, starlets and champagne waiters, their host appeared oddly aloof. The parties were to impress only one person, that is, Daisy Buchanan. Gatsby had a brief affair with Daisy before the war and her marriage to Tom....

About the Author

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (1886-1940) is best known for his novels and short stories which chronicle the excesses of America’s “Jazz Age” during the 1920s. He was born on 24 September, 1896 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. America, at the time of Fitzgerald’s birth, was in transition from the era of the frontier to a new age of growing cities, rapid technological advance, and the rise of what were to become the giant corporations of the twentieth century.

As his surname suggests, he was from the Irish-American stock, the family originating in Maryland. A distant relative of his on his father’s side, Francis Scott Key, after whom he was given his third Christian name, had written the patriotic American anthem ‘The Star-spangled Banner’. Fitzgerald was sent to the East Coast at the age of 15 to attend the Newman Academy in Hackensack, New Jersey. He entered Princeton University in 1913. In this Ivy League environment, with America poised to assume World Power status, he discovered, at first hand, many of the themes which were to profoundly inform his future literary career. At Princeton he formed a close and lifelong friendship with Edmund Wilson. Here he mingled with the monied classes from the eastern seaboard who so obsessed him for the rest of his life. America entered the First World War on the 6th April, 1917 and Fitzgerald, leaving Princeton without receiving a degree, joined the U.S. Army that year in the rank of Second Lieutenant. He got battle training but never served on the Western Front in Europe. He was discharged from the army in 1919. While stationed near Montgomery, Alabama, he courted and became engaged to Zelda Sayre, herself an aspiring writer. After his discharge from the army in 1919, he moved to New York City and worked for a short time for an advertising agency. The same year he sold his first story, ‘Babes in the Wood’, which appeared in The Smart Set. He returned to St. Paul and rewrote a novel he had begun while in the army; originally entitled ‘The Romantic Egotist’, it was published in 1920 as This Side of Paradise, and was an almost instant success.

Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre were married in 1920 and together they embarked on a rich life of endless parties. Dividing their time between America and fashionable resorts in Europe, they became as famous for their lifestyle as for the novels he wrote. In the same year his first collection of short stories, Flappers and Philosophers was published. His second novel, The Beautiful and Damned appeared in 1922. In the same year Fitzgerald published another collection of short stories, Tales of the Jazz Age, which included ‘The Diamond as Big as the Ritz’.

In October 1922 the Fitzgeralds moved to Great Neck, New York. Living in this affluent Long Island community provided Fitzgerald with material for his third novel, The Great Gatsby. Because they could live more cheaply in Europe than in the U.SA., the Fitzgeralds went to France in April 1924. There Fitzgerald met two other expatriate American writers—Ernest Hemingway, who became a close friend, and Gertrude Stein. In 1925 he published The Great Gatsby, widely considered his finest work. In the following year he published a third collection of short stories, entitled All the Sad Young Men.

During the next five years the Fitzgeralds travelled back and forth between Europe and America several times. Zelda had the first of her nervous breakdowns in April 1930. She was hospitalized periodically, both in Europe and the U.S.A., from then until her death in 1948. Fitzgerald’s fourth novel, Tender is the Night, appeared in 1934. Badly in need of money, he was disappointed that it did not sell better, though it was generally well received by the critics. Another collection of short stories, Taps at Reveille, was published in 1935.

For a few months in 1927 and then again in 1931 and 1932, Fitzgerald worked in Hollywood as a screen- writer. In 1937 he returned to accept a lucrative contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He worked on various screenplays, but completed only one (Three Comrades, 1938), and was eventually fired for his drinking. Though he occasionally visited Zelda, who by this time was in a hospital in North Carolina, he got involved with another woman, the columnist Sheilah Graham, whom he met in Hollywood in 1937. He died in her apartment, of a heart attack, in December 1940. During his last months, he returned to writing fiction, producing several short stories which were collected and published in 1962 as The Pat Hobby Stories. He also started writing a novel about a Hollywood producer, The Last Tycoon, which, though incomplete, was published in 1941.

More Information
Product NameThe Great Gatsby (Paperback - 2017)
Original PriceINR 100.00
AuthorF. Scott Fitzgerald
PublisherPeacock Books
Publication Year2017
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