F. Scott Fitzgerald, 24, has just brought the manuscript of his latest novel to his editor, Maxwell Perkins, 36, in his office at Charles Scribner’s Sons.
Charles Scribner’s Sons, Fifth Avenue
Scott has been working on this book since last summer when he and his new bride Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, 20, were living in Westport, Connecticut, supporting the local bootlegger.
Then it was called The Flight of the Rocket. He has changed the title to The Beautiful and Damned.
Perkins is pleased to finally have the manuscript in hand. Fitzgerald’s first novel, This Side of Paradise, was a huge hit for the publisher last year, and Max is proud of his discovery. He had to fight the editorial board to publish Scott’s story of young people partying after the end of the Great War.
The Beautiful and Damned has been an easier sell inside the company.
Fitzgerald has only had a few short stories published so far this year. Back in January, Perkins had gotten him $1,600 cash from part of his royalties on the first novel.
Now Scott is asking his editor for another $600. He and his pregnant wife want to buy steamship tickets to sail to Europe.
After he leaves the office, Perkins notices that Fitzgerald has left behind his copy of his Scribner’s contract.
“Such Friends”: 100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”: The Literary 1920s. Volume I, covering 1920, is available on Amazon in both print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This summer I will be talking about The Literary 1920s in the Osher Lifelong Learning programs at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.
Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon in both print and e-book versions.
If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.