Call Me Zelda
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Everything in the ward seemed different now, and I no longer felt its calming presence. The Fitzgeralds stirred something in me that had been dormant for a long time, and I was not prepared to face it....
From New York to Paris, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald reigned as king and queen of the Jazz Age, seeming to float on champagne bubbles above the mundane cares of the world. But to those who truly knew them, the endless parties were only a distraction from their inner turmoil, and from a love that united them with a scorching intensity.
When Zelda is committed to a Baltimore psychiatric clinic in 1932, vacillating between lucidity and madness in her struggle to forge an identity separate from her husband, the famous writer, she finds a sympathetic friend in her nurse, Anna Howard. Held captive by her own tragic past, Anna is increasingly drawn into the Fitzgeralds’ tumultuous relationship. As she becomes privy to Zelda’s most intimate confessions, written in a secret memoir meant only for her, Anna begins to wonder which Fitzgerald is the true genius. But in taking ever greater emotional risks to save Zelda, Anna may end up paying a far higher price than she intended....
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her make such an assumption. I began to pity him again. He returned to his chair and asked for a glass of water. His skin was pale, and sweat formed along his upper lip. I poured him some water from a pitcher on Meyer’s side table, and Fitzgerald met my eyes directly when he thanked me. “That is enough for today,” said Dr. Meyer. “It’s clear that you both need rest. Will you be staying in Baltimore long?” “No, I’ll return to Montgomery tomorrow. My daughter, Scottie, needs me. I don’t want to
scribbling at the large living room table, writing down all you do so he can have it instead of you. DANCER: Did you get it all, Writer? Do you have enough material or shall I perform more? WRITER: If you could just do the part again where you lift your skirts, I could have the material I need. DANCER: What kind of third rate are you to need repeats? If you can’t keep up it’s your loss. WRITER becomes enraged and throws DANCER’s favorite vase—colored like the sky at twilight’s
suit smoking a cigar. The night and the bar were one in the open air, and moonlight spilled in through the porch. I ordered a rum swizzle and read from a book Scott had recommended to me, Ernest Hemingway’s most recent volume of short stories, Winner Take Nothing. He had made me promise not to tell Zelda that he’d given it to me. He didn’t want to get her started on Hemingway again. I read “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place,” a story of an old man and two waiters at a café in the night. The young
“That came in the mail for you today,” he said. His voice was very quiet. I walked over to the window to see why he was so shaken, and knew once I saw the sender. United States Department of Defense, Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office. It suddenly seemed as if all sound was silenced and I could hear only my pulse in my ears. The coldness in my belly had spread to my fingertips. I had an urge to take the letter and run up to my apartment, where I could be alone with it, but no part of my
the children. And Will.” Peter hesitated for a moment, and then looked upstairs as if he expected someone to come down. He cleared his throat. “This trip will be good for you, too. It’s time to go out on your own. The kids are bigger and you still baby them. Especially Sara.” “She has always been shy…” I said. “Babied.” I began to protest until I realized that he was right. Given my past, however, could he really blame me? I understood how fleeting life could be. I never took time with my