'I wish I could tell everyone who thinks we're ruined... Look closer, and you'll see something extraordinary, mystifying, something real and true. We have never been what we seemed.'
When beautiful, reckless Southern belle Zelda Sayre meets F. Scott Fitzgerald at a country club dance in 1918, she is seventeen and he is a young army lieutenant. Before long, Zelda has fallen for him, even though Scott isn't wealthy or prominent or even a Southerner and keeps insisting, absurdly, that his writing will bring him both fortune and fame. When he sells his first novel, she optimistically boards a train to New York, to marry him and take the rest as it comes.
What comes, here at the dawn of the Jazz Age, is unimagined success and celebrity that will make Scott and Zelda legends in their own time. Each place they go becomes a playground: New York City, Long Island, Hollywood, Paris, and the French riviera - where they join the endless party of the glamorous, sometimes doomed Lost Generation that includes Ernest Hemingway, Sara and Gerald Murphy, and Gertrude Stein.
Everything seems new and possible, but not even Jay Gatsby's parties go on forever. Who is Zelda, other than the wife of a famous - sometimes infamous - husband? With brilliant insight and imagination, Therese Anne Fowler brings us Zelda's irresistible story as she herself might have told it.
Therese Anne Fowler has a BA in sociology/cultural anthropology and an MFA in creative writing. Her work has won honours from the Faulkner Society and Thomas Wolfe Fiction prize competitions. She was an editorial assistant and taught undergraduate fiction writing before leaving academia to write full-time. An Illinois native, she has two grown sons and two nearly grown stepsons, and currently lives in North Carolina with her husband.
If ever a couple ... became an era, it was F Scott Fitzgerald and his glamorous "flapper" wife, Zelda. They were the Jazz Age. — Independent
An utterly engrossing portrayal of Zelda Fitzgerald and the legendary circles in which she moved. In the spirit of Loving Frank and The Paris Wife, Therese Anne Fowler shines a light on Zelda instead of her more famous husband, providing both justice and the voice she struggled to have heard in her lifetime. — Sara Gruen, author of WATER FOR ELEPHANTS
Finely researched, entertaining and very plausible. — Vogue UK
A brilliant example of what biographical fiction can be. Read it, read it, read it. — Daily Mail
An often superb novel. — Independent on Sunday
Fowler articulates the story of Zelda in the first person, encapsulating her struggle exquisitely. She amplifies Zelda's whisper into a lion's roar. Our girl finally gets the justice, autonomy, and recognition she so desperately craved in her lifetime. The era is projected in full technicolour and makes for utterly compulsive reading. — Stylist
A treat. — Sunday Times Style
In her new novel Z, Fowler draws a compellingly complete portrait of that other Paris (and New York and St. Paul and Long Island) wife: mother, painter, writer, flapper, feminist Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald. — USA Today
A thrilling read. — Stylist.co.uk
Zips along addictively and exposes the dark side of artistic ambition. — Entertainment Weekly
A gorgeously rendered piece of literary entertainment, not a biography but rather a love story set in the Jazz Age. — New York Daily News
A must-read. — Marie Claire
Captures the playful, deeply loving, sexy relationship between the young Fitzgeralds. — Huffington Post
Z is a fictional account of Zelda Fitzgerald's life - giving voice to the determined, intelligent and vibrant woman who struggled to find her identity in the shadow of her husband, whose demons challenged them both with heartbreaking consequences. An unforgettable read. — Australian Woman's Weekly
Thoughtful and emotionally charged, Z is a mesmerising piece of fiction that brings to life an era and the set of people who defined it. Faithfully researched, written with brio and style, it is a must-read for Fitzgerald obsessives but should also captivate readers coming new to the legend. — New Zealand Herald
Sassy, witty and compulsively readable, Z is destined to put Fowler on the literary map. — Weekend Herald (NZ)
Narrated by Fowler's imagined voice of Zelda Fitzgerald, this is the touching and ultimately tragic love story of Zelda and her husband, F Scott Fitzgerald. Like much of their life, reality played like an F Scott Fitzgerald novel - full of glamour, alcohol and bad behaviour. This is an engrossing read of celebrity life. In some ways the story is specific to the between the war years and that fascinating creative group of writers and artists. In particular the opportunities for women beyond the role of home-maker drew Zelda and frustrated Scott. In other ways, perhaps things haven't changed that much as bright starts shine and burn out. Amy Winehouse anyone? — Bookbag
Fowler's Zelda is all we would expect and more... Fowler has given us a lovely, sad and compulsively readable book. — Kirkus (starred review)
What Fowler so masterfully achieves in Z is a thoughtful portrait of a woman who might not have been as 'crazy' as we all had been led to believe, but one who was constantly disregarded by a jealous and narcissistic husband. — Book Reporter
Though there are many biographies of the Fitzgeralds, Fowler's well-researched fictional account provides a tender, intimate exploration of a complicated and captivating woman ... Fowler's detailed prose will certainly spark fresh interest in the most famous couple of the Roaring Twenties. — Library Journal
Fowler portrays a softer, more anxious Zelda, but loveable nonetheless, whose world is one of textured sensuality. — Publishers Weekly
From her youth as the belle of Montgomery to the heady early days of marriage to the inevitable breakdowns, Fowler chronicles Zelda's incredible life with sympathy and compassion. — Bookpage
Fowler renders rich period detail in this portrayal of a fascinating woman both blessed - and cursed - by fame. — Booklist
Fowler's richly imagined portrait of the Jazz Age's literary royalty is a wonderfully engaging read. With crisp dialogue and vivid descriptions, Z delivers both a compelling love story and a poignant tale of a woman coming into her own as an artist. — Heidi W. Durrow, author of THE GIRL WHO FELL FROM THE SKY
A novel that is as hearbreaking as it is mesmerizing. Just magnificent. — Caroline Leavitt, author of PICTURES OF YOU