In honor of the movie release of Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby,
we've brought you five must-read novels from the Jazz Age!
We talk a lot about F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of The Great Gatsby and other fiction that defined the Jazz Age, but what about his wife, Zelda Fitzgerald? She met Fitzgerald when she was just 17 years old, and their love affair was legendary. Her nervous breakdowns and mental illness later in life have relegated her to the status of Fitzgerald's crazy wife, so it's nice to see authors fictionalizing her life story and bringing this woman to life on the page after all these years.
Another book about Zelda Fitzgerald? Yes, it is! Rather than focusing on Zelda's entire life and marriage to F. Scott, this book focuses on the years that Zelda was committed to a Baltimore psychiatric clinic. Rather than being autobiography-style fiction, it features a nurse at Zelda's hospital who is drawn to the Fitzgeralds. It's a different angle from which to view Zelda, so while this book and Fowler's Z are about the same person, we think they're both worth a read!
It was only a matter of time before the Jazz Age came to the world of YA, and now there are multiple series set in this time period. Vixen, the first book in the Flappers series, has all the drama of Gossip Girl and is set during this exciting period. It features a teenager named Gloria, who enjoys the high-partying lifestyle of the Jazz Age but must settle down because of her engagement to a wealthy young man, heir to a large fortune. The entire trilogy is out now, so you can enjoy this series in all its juicy splendor in one fell swoop!
The Chaperone is about a young Louise Brooks, the famous film actress with an iconic look. Even if you don't know who Louise Brooks was or why you'd want to read about her, this is a book you should definitely consider. Rather than Louise, the main focus of this novel is Cora, the married young woman who accompanied Louise to New York as her chaperone. Through Cora's eyes, the reader sees the changing morals and values of the Jazz Age; it's an excellent commentary as well as a gripping read.
Yes, a short story collection from the author who defines the Jazz Age! Whether in one of his many novels or this short story collection, no one describes the excess and captures the magic of this unique period better than F. Scott Fitzgerald.
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