If you think you know F. Scott Fitzgerald, this book will come as a delightfully intimate surprise. Fitzgerald scholar Dave Page has meticulously scoured the letters, scrapbooks, and diaries of the great American novelist, offering a fresh look at the young writer and his St. Paul friends and neighbors. Readers will learn about—and recognize—the sources for the characters and the places he wrote about—as well as understand why St. Paul so inspired him.
F. Scott Fitzgerald fans already know and love some of the enchanting and mischievous characters that populate his early novels and short stories. There was Bernice, who bobbed not only her hair but her cousin’s as well. And those pranksters who crashed the wrong party disguised as an exotic camel! And then there was the poor Southern belle who almost froze to death in the St. Paul Winter Carnival’s ice palace. Many of Fitzgerald’s characters and tales were based on real people and events from the young writer’s life, set against the socioeconomic times of the Jazz Age, where he perceived a great gulf between the haves and the have-nots in his hometown.
F. Scott Fitzgerald in Minnesota combines insights into the writer’s early career with the rich architectural history of St. Paul, taking readers into the homes and places he frequented. Page’s well-researched analysis is complemented by Jeff Krueger’s sensitive color photographs of homes still standing, and supplemented by fascinating historic photographs of lives well lived in old St. Paul.