For the first time since he moved from the advertising department, at New York publisher Charles Scribner’s & Sons, up to the editorial department six years ago, Maxwell Perkins, 35, feels as though he is entitled to a vacation.
He is back in Windsor, Vermont, where he had spent most of his summers while growing up. It’s peaceful. And quiet. And brings back good memories.
The Old South Church in Windsor, Vermont
However, as usual, he worries about his writers. Particularly his new discovery F. Scott Fitzgerald, 23, whose debut novel, This Side of Paradise, is earning Perkins this welcome rest.
Max decides he’d better send Scott his summer address, just in case he needs to be in touch:
Down south in Westport, Connecticut, Scott and his new bride, Zelda, about to turn 20, are spending most of their summer supporting the local bootlegger.
Working on short stories as well as his second novel, Scott flirts with Eugenia Bankhead, 19, sister of stage and screen actress Tallulah, 18, both old schoolmates of Zelda.
Zelda fights back by chatting up Smart Set co-editor George Jean Nathan, 37.
So many drunk drivers are racing up and down the road between parties in Westport and New York, the local police have given up trying to stop them.
The Fitzgeralds’ rented house in Westport, Connecticut
Riding through midtown Manhattan one day in a taxi, Scott starts sobbing. He knows that he has gotten everything he ever wanted. And life will never be this good again.
“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 Perkins’ relationships with Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions.
This fall I will be talking about writers’ salons before and after the Great War in Ireland, England, France and America in the Osher Lifelong Learning programs at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie-Mellon University.
My presentation, “Such Friends”: Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table, is available to view on the website of PICT Classic Theatre. The program begins at the 11 minute mark, and my presentation at 16 minutes.
If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.