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About the Book
This Side of Paradise
This Side of Paradise is the debut novel of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Published in 1920, and taking its title from a line of the Rupert Brooke poem Tiare Tahiti, the book examines the lives and morality of post-World War I youth. Its protagonist, Amory Blaine, is an attractive Princeton University student who dabbles in literature. The novel explores the theme of love warped by greed and status-seeking.
This book is written in three parts.
"Book One: The Romantic Egotist"—the novel centers on Amory Blaine, a young Midwesterner who, convinced that he has an exceptionally promising future, attends boarding school and later Princeton University. He leaves behind his eccentric mother Beatrice and befriends a close friend of hers, Monsignor Darcy. While at Princeton he goes back to Minneapolis where he re-encounters Isabelle Borgé, a young lady whom he met as a little boy and starts a romantic relationship with her, but after a few days he becomes disillusioned by her and returns to Princeton.
"Interlude"—Following their break-up, Amory is shipped overseas, to serve in the army in World War I. Fitzgerald had been in the army himself, but the war ended while he was still stationed on Long Island. Amory's experiences in the war are not described, other than to say later in the book that he was a bayonet instructor.
"Book Two: The Education of a Personage"—After the war, Amory Blaine falls in love with a New York debutante named Rosalind Connage. Because he is poor, however, this relationship collapses as well; Rosalind decides to marry a wealthy man instead. A devastated Amory is further crushed to learn that his mentor Monsignor Darcy has died. The book ends with Amory's iconic lament, "I know myself, but that is all."
About the Author
F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1896-1940
Fitzgerald is regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th Century. The self-styled spokesman of the "Lost Generation" — the Americans born in the 1890s who came of age during World War I — crafted five novels and dozens of short stories that treat themes of youth, despair, and age with remarkable emotional honesty.
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 – December 21, 1940) was an American author of novels and short stories, whose works are the paradigm writings of the Jazz Age, a term he coined himself. He is widely regarded as one of the twentieth century's greatest writers. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the "Lost Generation" of the 1920s. He finished four novels, This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, Tender Is the Night and his most famous, the celebrated classic, The Great Gatsby. A fifth, unfinished novel, The Love of the Last Tycoon was published posthumously. Fitzgerald also wrote many short stories that treat themes of youth and promise along with despair and age.
Fitzgerald's first novel, about a coterie of Princeton socialites, appears in a 75th anniversary edition.