Alexander McKaig, 25, is enjoying a quiet evening in his New York City apartment, when in through the door bursts his friend and former Princeton classmate, F. Scott Fitzgerald, about to turn 24, and his new bride, Zelda, 20. Fighting. As always.
Apparently, they had just jumped on a train to Manhattan when their most recent squabble brought them to the Westport, Connecticut, train station, near their current rented home. Zelda had almost been run over by a train while crossing the Saugatuck River railroad bridge.
Since the Fitzgeralds moved to Westport early in the summer, McKaig’s impression is that they party and fight all the time. The most recent big blow out had been over Labor Day weekend.
Zelda Fitzgerald, back row; Scott Fitzgerald, front row; Alex McKaig, far right; with other partygoers in Westport, Connecticut
Why all the drama? Scott’s writing career appears to be going well. Based on the success of his first novel, This Side of Paradise, earlier this year, his publisher, Scribner’s and Sons, brought out a collection of his short stories, Flappers and Philosophers, just last week.
Flapper and Philosophers cover
The Fitzgeralds are always complaining about having no money. But Alex knows that an advance on the Scribner’s royalties bought Zelda a new fur coat. And Fitzgerald has sold some of his stories to Hollywood movie studios for thousands of dollars.
What on earth are they always fighting about?!
After listening to Zelda yet again threaten to leave Scott for good, McKaig determines that he won’t attend their next upcoming drunken party in Westport.
“Such Friends”: 100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”: The Literary 1920s, to be published by K. Donnelly Communications. For more information, email me at email@example.com.
Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions.
My “Such Friends” presentations, Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table, and The Founding of the Abbey Theatre, are available to view on the website of PICT Classic Theatre.
This fall I am talking about writers’ salons in Ireland, England, France and America before and after the Great War in the Osher Lifelong Learning programs at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie-Mellon University.
If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.