F. Scott Fitzgerald (Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald) | First Editions

1896 - 1940

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 – December 21, 1940), known professionally as F. Scott Fitzgerald, was an American novelist and short story writer, whose works are the paradigmatic writings of the Jazz Age. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the "Lost Generation" of the 1920s - referring to the generation which came of age during WWI, including T.S. Eliot, John Steinbeck, and many others. Fitzgerald finished four novels: This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby (his best known), and Tender Is the Night. A fifth, unfinished novel, The Love of the Last Tycoon, was published posthumously. His fiction focuses upon the themes of youth, promise, ageing, and despair.

The publication of The Great Gatsby prompted T. S. Eliot to write, in a letter to Fitzgerald, "It seems to me to be the first step that American fiction has taken since Henry James ...". In letters written in the 1940s, J. D. Salinger expressed admiration of Fitzgerald's work, and his biographer Ian Hamilton wrote that Salinger even saw himself for some time as "Fitzgerald's successor". Moreover, Richard Yates (a writer often compared to Fitzgerald) called The Great Gatsby "a miracle of talent". Into the 21st century, millions of copies of The Great Gatsby and Fitzgerald's other works have been sold. Gatsby remains a constant best-seller, is required reading in many high school and college classes in the United States.

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