American Expat Writers in Paris: Background information when reading Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

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Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

by Therese Fowler

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2013, 352 pages
    Mar 2014, 384 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Poornima Apte

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Beyond the Book:
American Expat Writers in Paris

The period between the two World Wars was one of thriving creativity for many artists, and Paris with its bohemian lifestyle, its recognition of artists, and vibrant social life offered plenty of enticements to American writers. The fact that the United States passed Prohibition laws in 1920, banning the sale of alcohol, didn't hurt the migration to Paris either. Among the many who moved to the City of Light were F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda, and Ernest Hemingway whose mentor, Gertrude Stein, was a permanent fixture on the expat literary scene.

Gertrude Stein with Ernest Hemingway's son Jack in 1924Stein labeled this group of expat writers as "The Lost Generation" – writers who were adrift after World War I and were trying to find a set of values they could believe in. Their general rootlessness and a feeling of being unmoored gave the moniker added relevance. It is worth noting that artists of all kinds and from many places (not just American writers) made Paris their home during this time. Prominent among these were ...

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