Authors & Events
Look Inside | Reading Guide
Sep 08, 2009
| ISBN 9780307474513
Nov 13, 2001
| ISBN 9780375758867
Jul 15, 1996
| ISBN 9780679447238
Aug 05, 2009
| ISBN 9780307416490
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Sep 08, 2009 | ISBN 9780307474513
Nov 13, 2001 | ISBN 9780375758867
Jul 15, 1996 | ISBN 9780679447238
Aug 05, 2009 | ISBN 9780307416490
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s cherished debut novel announced the arrival of a brilliant young writer and anticipated his masterpiece, The Great Gatsby. Published in 1920, when the author was just twenty-three, This Side of Paradise recounts the education of young Amory Blaine—egoistic, versatile, callow, imaginative. As Amory makes his way among debutantes and Princeton undergraduates, we enter an environment heady with the promise of everything that was new in the vigorous, restless America after World War I. We experience Amory’s sailing hopes, crushing defeats, deep loves and stubborn losses. His growth from self-absorption to sexual awareness and personhood unfolds with continuous improvisatory energy and delight. Fitzgerald’s remarkable formal inventiveness couches Amory’s narrative among songs, poems, dramatic dialogue, questions and answers. The novel’s freshness and verve—praised upon publication, now renowned by history—only heighten the sense that the world being described is our own, modern world.
This Side of Paradise is the book that established F. Scott Fitzgerald as the prophet and golden boy of the newly dawned Jazz Age. Published in 1920, when he was just twenty-three, the novel catapulted him to instant fame and financial success. The story of Amory Blaine, a privileged, aimless, and self-absorbed Princeton student, This Side of Paradise closely reflects Fitzgerald’s own experiences as an undergraduate. Amory Blaine’s journey from prep school to college to the First World War is an account of "the lost generation." The young "romantic egotist" symbolizes what Fitzgerald so memorably described as "a new generation grown up to find all Gods dead, all wars fought, all faiths in man shaken." A pastiche of literary styles, this dazzling chronicle of youth remains bitingly relevant decades later."This Side of Paradise commits almost every sin that a novel can possibly commit," wrote Edmund Wilson. "But it does not commit the unpardonable sin: it does not fail to live. The whole preposterous farrago is animated with life."
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s extraordinary career as a novelist ended abruptly and unhappily, but it began with one of the most brilliant first novels in the history of American literature. Published when its author was just twenty-three, This Side of Paradise is about the education of a youth, and to this universal story Fitzgerald brought the promise of everything that was new in the vigorous, restless America during the years following World War I. Amory Blaine–egoistic, versatile, callow, and imaginative–inhabits a book that is interwoven with songs, poems, playscripts, and questions and answers. His growth from self-absorption to sexual awareness and personhood is described by means of a continuous improvisatory energy and delight. Far from being distracting, Fitzgerald’s formal inventiveness and verve only heighten our sense that the world being described is our own modern world. A profound coherence informs This Side of Paradise–a coherence born of its author’s uncanny ability to revel in the fragmented surfaces of human life while exploring and comprehending its serene depths.
First published in 1920, This Side of Paradise marks the beginning of the career of one of the greatest writers of the first half of the twentieth century. In this remarkable achievement, F. Scott Fitzgerald displays his unparalleled wit and keen social insight in his portrayal of college life through the struggles and doubts of Amory Blaine, a self-proclaimed genius with a love of knowledge and a penchant for the romantic. As Amory journeys into adulthood and leaves the aristocratic egotism of his youth behind, he becomes painfully aware of his lost innocence and the new sense of responsibility and regret that has taken its place. Clever and wonderfully written, This Side of Paradise is a fascinating novel about the changes of the Jazz Age and their effects on the individual. It is a complex portrait of a versatile mind in a restless generation that reveals rich ideas crucial to an understanding of the 1920s and timeless truths about the human need for–and fear of–change. "A very enlivening book indeed, a book really brilliant and glamorous, making as agreeable reading as could be asked . . . There are clever things, keen and searching things, amusingly young and mistaken things, beautiful things and pretty things . . . and truly inspired and elevated things, an astonishing abundance of each, in THIS SIDE OF PARADISE. You could call it the youthful Byronism that is normal in a man of the author’s type, working out through a well-furnished intellect of unusual critical force."–The Evening Post, 1920"An astonishing and refreshing book . . . Mr. Fitzgerald has recorded with a good deal of felicity and a disarming frankness the adventures and developments of a curious and fortunate American youth. . . . [It is] delightful and encouraging to find a novel which gives us in the accurate terms of intellectual honesty a reflection of American undergraduate life. At last the revelation has come. We have the constant young American occupation–the ‘petting party’–frankly and humorously in our literature."–The New Republic, 1920
F. Scott Fitzgerald was considered the quintessential author of the Jazz Age. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1896, Fitzgerald attended Princeton University, where he began to write seriously. After joining the U.S. Army in 1917, Fitzgerald met Zelda Sayre, whom… More about F. Scott Fitzgerald
“As nearly perfect as such a work could be…. The glorious spirit of abounding youth glows throughout this fascinating tale.” —The New York Times
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