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Beautiful Fools

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Beautiful Fools

Clifton Spargo

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$15.95


ISBN 13: 978-1-4683-0880-8
Trim Size: 5 3/8 x 8
Paperback
Overlook
04/29/2014

Product Description

In this vivid novel about the last romance of one of America’s greatest literary couples, R. Clifton Spargo brings to life the passionate yet tragic relationship between F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. In an attempt to fuse together their fractured marriage, Scott arranges a trip to Cuba, but even in paradise, Scott and Zelda cannot escape the dangerous intensity of their relationship. As both cling desperately to their memories of their fading youth, the voyage exposes their lost innocence, lending poignancy to this last chapter of one of history’s most enduring love stories. In Beautiful Fools, R. Clifton Spargo gives us a truly human portrait of the Fitzgeralds, and reveals the heartbreaking patterns and unexpected moments of tenderness that characterize a great romance in decline.


Praise for Beautiful Fools:

“If you’re looking for a Great Gatsby retelling with more substance than Baz Luhrmann’s latest, Beautiful Fools is it.”—Miami New Times

 "Beautiful Fools [is] F. Scott’s story as well as Zelda’s, and a Fitzgeraldian wistfulness prevails. This approach to the Fitzgeralds’ story is the most successful of the bunch…With its contained arc and energetic plotting, Beautiful Fools takes the focus off more familiar episodes in the couple’s history."—New Yorker.com

“…In Spargo’s hands, the Fitzgeralds emerge as fully human, if crazed and ruined characters. . . .as they trade back and forth a valueless currency of hopes, promises and vows of loyalty. This is as far from the fantasy of DiCaprio’s “Gatsby” as an asylum in Baltimore is from the Riviera, but it’s the one version of the story that resists the temptation to glamorize Scott and Zelda out of their humanity.”—Washington Post

"Beautiful Fools is the work of a genuine literary talent...Spargo’s characters transcend reality and become rich and fictional, and the novel, in the form’s paradoxical brilliance (at its best, as often here) speaks truth through invention. Spargo’s Fitzgeralds come alive."—The Spectator

"Spargo's book is richly imagined, and paints a delightfully detailed portrait of Cuba of 1939. It's a positively delicious travelogue."—Chicago Tribune

"Beautiful Fools skillfully evokes Cuba at the end of the 1930s, redolent of the music and scents and tastes of the tropics. Beyond the customary tourist haunts, adventure and danger seem to lurk in every bar and cafe, along every road and deserted beachfront…Writing in third person, and alternating between Scott’s and Zelda’s perspectives, Spargo describes the imperfect communion of two troubled souls who can’t quite let go of their past or each other."—Boston Globe"It takes a brave novelist to tackle Scott and Zelda, those mythic ghosts of the Jazz Age. Luckily, Spargo is more than just brave—Beautiful Fools is a vivid and revealing look at two charismatic, self-destructive people, and the love that sustained and ruined them. It's a real feat of historical imagination and novelistic empathy." —Tom Perotta, author of Election and Little Children

"Here is a writer possessing the greatest talent: that of fully inhabiting the lives of others. Spargo conjures up these two as no one has done before. Scott and Zelda become, in Spargo's remarkable novel, not people of history but of literature, and reminders of what we fight for, what we fail to win, and the beauty that abides between. A marvel of a book." —Andrew Sean Greer, author of The Story of a Marriage



R. Clifton Spargo is a Chicago-based novelist and cultural critic who writes “The HI/LO” for The Huffington Post. An Arts Fellow at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a graduate of the doctoral program in literature at Yale University, he has published stories and essays in The Kenyon Review, The Antioch Review, Glimmer Train, FICTION, Raritan, Commonweal, the Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere. He created and regularly teaches a testimonial writing workshop on gender-based violence for The Voices and Faces Project.

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