Save Me the Waltz
by Zelda Fitzgerald
A few years ago I read Z: a Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler and became duly fascinated by this woman who was so much more than the wife of a famous writer. I was particularly interested to learn that Zelda too had written a novel but it was out of print at the time. Thank goodness for small publisher Handheld Press, which republished it in 2019.
This novel is based on Zelda’s own life from her teens through to her early 30s. It was written fast, over six weeks, which perhaps adds to the jazz-like atmosphere. Not that there is that much of it about partying hard in 1920s New York, nor much internal monologue. But there is a lot of exuberance in the language, riffs of evocative description breaking into the narrative. Which is a style that is initially a little tough-going and honestly I wasn’t sure I liked it at all, but it grew on me as the story progressed (though if I had been her editor I would have reined it in, at least in the earlier chapters).