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In the wake of World War I, a community of expatriate American writers established itself in the salons and cafes of 1920s Paris. They congregated at Gertrude Stein's select soirees, drank too much, married none too wisely, and wrote volumes--about the war, about the Jazz Age, and often about each other. F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda, were part of this gang of literary Young Turks, and it was while living in France that Fitzgerald began writing Tender Is the Night. Begun in 1925, the novel was not actually published until 1934. By then, Fitzgerald was back in the States and his marriage was on the rocks, destroyed by Zelda's mental illness and alcoholism. Despite the modernist mandate to keep authors and their creations strictly segregated, it's difficult not to look for parallels between Fitzgerald's private life and the lives of his characters, psychiatrist Dick Diver and his former patient turned wife, Nicole. Certainly the hospital in Switzerland where Zelda was committed in 1929 provided the inspiration for the clinic where Diver meets, treats, and then marries the wealthy Nicole Warren. And Fitzgerald drew both the European locale and many of the characters from places and people he knew from abroad.
In the novel, Dick is eventually ruined--professionally, emotionally, and spiritually--by his union with Nicole. Fitzgerald's fate was not quite so novelistically neat: after Zelda was diagnosed as a schizophrenic and committed, Fitzgerald went to work as a Hollywood screenwriter in 1937 to pay her hospital bills. He died three years later--not melodramatically, like poor Jay Gatsby in his swimming pool, but prosaically, while eating a chocolate bar and reading a newspaper. Of all his novels, Tender Is the Night is arguably the one closest to his heart. As he himself wrote, "Gatsby was a tour de force, but this is a confession of faith."
On the 1920s Riviera the rich and hedonistic disport themselves, drawn by the brilliance and promise of Dr Dick Diver and his fragile wife, Nicole. No one is more infatuated than Rosemary, the beautiful young starlet who will become the main force in Dick's eventual destruction. There's a timelessness about the vacuity of this soulless set that makes the whole dismal story a powerful fable for our times, made totally convincing by the finely nuanced narration. - Rachel Redford, The Observer F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1934 Tender is the Night was his last and most painfully conceived novel. Based on personal experience (the schizophrenia of his wife, Zelda, his affair with a Hollywood actress and the time they spent in Paris, Switzerland and on the Cote d'Azur), it is a sad but hauntingly beautiful exploration of the way in which a needy person leaches the spirit out of a strong one. Dick and his wife Nicole seem to be the most glamorous of couples, but gradually the tragic secrets of their past emerge. Trevor White reads with subtly shifting pace and complete command. - Christina Hardyment, The Times --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.See all Product Description
I have been intending to read one of F Scott Fitzgerald's novels for a long time, and decided against The Great Gatsby when the movie came out. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
I see so many Gatsby fans completely bash this work, but it's one of his most complex when it comes to the characters and relationships. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Travis Mataya
It brought me back to the post WW1 era, a romantic time for expats in Europe. The story was a little shallow but his descriptions of places and people are special. An easy read.Published 22 months ago by Patricia Gaudet
I couldn't find this book in the US, so looked to amazon.ca for some help! Book arrived promptly, in beautiful condition. Thanks so much!Published on Jan. 8 2012 by steph
I was expecting to like this book more, and only checked it out because the library didn't have 'The Great Gatsby. Read morePublished on July 12 2004 by Anyechka
It's an utter failure. Because it's a character study without the slightest trace of characterological depth. Dick & Nicole remain dead on the page all the way thru. Read morePublished on June 23 2004 by Gooch McCracken
Tender Is the Night is uncomfortably autobiographical, written after Fitzgerald's wife, Zelda, was institutionalized. Read morePublished on April 7 2004
I struggled to finish this book. It is laden with trivial charactersand the plot drags on endlessly while Fitzgerald keeps blindly grasping for the magic he had before he... Read morePublished on March 22 2004 by W. Thomas McAllister