West of Sunset

Stewart O'Nan
AUD $29.99
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A 'rich, sometimes heartbreaking' (Dennis Lehane) novel of F. Scott Fitzgerald's last years in Hollywood.

In 1937, F. Scott Fitzgerald was a troubled, uncertain man whose literary success was long behind him. In poor health, with his wife consigned to a mental asylum and his finances in ruin, he struggled to make a new start as a screenwriter in Hollywood.

The last three years of Fitzgerald's life, often obscured by the legend of his earlier Jazz Age glamour, are the focus of Stewart O'Nan's heartfelt new novel. With flashbacks to key moments from Fitzgerald's past, the story follows him as he arrives on the MGM lot, falls in love with brassy gossip columnist Sheilah Graham, begins work on The Last Tycoon, and tries to maintain a semblance of family life with the absent Zelda and their daughter, Scottie.

Fitzgerald's orbit of literary fame and the Golden Age of Hollywood is brought vividly to life through the novel's romantic cast of characters, from Dorothy Parker and Ernest Hemingway to Humphrey Bogart. Written with striking grace and subtlety, this wise and intimate portrait of a man trying his best to hold together a world that's falling apart, if not gone already, is a masterpiece.

'O'Nan is an incredibly versatile and charming writer. This novel, which imagines F. Scott Fitzgerald's troubled time in Hollywood (with cameos by Dorothy Parker, Bogie, and Hemingway), takes up (like much of O'Nan's work) that essential conundrum of grace struggling with paucity. One brilliant American writer meditating on another - what's not to love?' -- George Saunders, author of Tenth of December

West of Sunset is a rich, sometimes heartbreaking journey through the disintegration of an American legend. O'Nan captures the fire and frailty of F. Scott Fitzgerald with an understated grace that would have made Fitzgerald himself stand up and applaud.' - Dennis Lehane

'An achingly nuanced love story and one of the best biographical novels to come along in years. O'Nan's great achievement here is in so convincingly inhabiting the character of Scott Fitzgerald and of the people surrounding him during his descent into the clarifying depths of 1930s Hollywood.' - T.C. Boyle

'Stewart O'Nan captures Fitzgerald's mood of spiritual reflection, without trying to imitate Fitzgerald's voice. This book is an inoculation against self-pity. It's not a mock Fitzgerald novel, but an original portrait of a writer struggling to keep his dignity while trying to make a living. It's one of the best books I've read in years and it deserves a cheering crowd.' - Michael Tolkin, author of The Player

Author bio:

Stewart O'Nan is the author of fourteen novels, including The Odds, Emily, Alone and Last Night at the Lobster, as well as several works of nonfiction, including, with Stephen King, the bestselling Faithful. He was born and raised in Pittsburgh, where he lives with his family.

Category: Literary fiction
ISBN: 9781925266559
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Imprint: Allen & Unwin
Pub Date: June 2015
Page Extent: 304
Format: Paperback - C format
Age: 0 - 0
Subject: Literary fiction

Read an excerpt

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