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Books 1-10.
Books 11-20.
21. The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. Le Guin.
22. Rebellion at Christiana by Margaret Hope Bacon.
23. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang.
24. This Sweet Sickness by Patricia Highsmith.
25. Sandstorm: A Forgotten Realms Novel by Christopher Rowe.

26. The St. Paul Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald, edited by Patricia Hampl and Dave Page. The truth is, despite growing up in St. Paul and currently living in the very neighborhood where Fitzgerald was born and spent much of his early life, the only thing I've read by him is The Great Gatsby, and that was in high school, if I recall correctly. So I don't have a firm grounding in his work, and reading this I wished I did. It would make it easier to contextualize--for example--the throwaway bits of racism, which really bothered me, and not just in a well-you-have-to-consider-the-period kind of way. There's also (and I don't think this is news) the class thing; Fitz was an acute observer of the boundaries of class, of who is allowed to cross them and why, but behind that sharp eye there's . . . perhaps not envy, exactly, but an attitude of "Those people are awful, aren't they? But they sure know how to live." The stories in this particular collection fall largely into a sort of formula of young love found and lost. That sounds a bit dismissive, and I really don't mean it to be; this is smart stuff, and occasionally a line just jumps right off the page and stops you. There's this bit, from "Bernice Bobs Her Hair": "People over forty can seldom be permanently convinced of anything. At eighteen our convictions are hills from which we look; at forty-five they are caves in which we hide." And for all his legendary disdain for his hometown, Fitz has a gift for describing its rhythms. In "At Your Age" he writes:

It was a long winter, even in a land of long winters. March was full of billowy drift, and when it seemed at last as though the cold must be defeated, there was a series of blizzards, desperate as last stands. The people waited; their first energy to resist was spent, and man, like weather, simply hung on. There was less to do now and the general restlessness was expressed by surliness in daily contacts. Then, early in April, with a long sigh the ice cracked, the snow ran into the ground, and the green, eager spring broke up through.

He could be talking about this winter right now. Anyway, I intend to read more Fitzgerald, including a revisitation of Gatsby, and hopefully he will impress me a little more.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Richard Larson
Mar. 14th, 2011 02:54 pm (UTC)
hey Dave,

My favorite Fitzgerald is TENDER IS THE NIGHT. Really beautiful stuff, and also provides more insight about his relationship to class.

Were most of the St. Paul stories early works?

I was in St. Paul for a wedding over the summer, and I totally stopped to take a picture by Fitz's old house. Beautiful neighborhood too. I wonder what he'd think of it now...

Mar. 14th, 2011 03:58 pm (UTC)
Re: Fitz!
Hey Richard:

I lent my copy of the book to someone so I can't check, but as I recall the stories covered most of the range of his career.

Tender Is the Night is actually the next Fitzgerald I plan to read (although it won't be right away), so I'm glad to hear that you recommend it!
Apr. 1st, 2011 11:03 am (UTC)
Great Gatsby Quotes
I’m sure another reading of `The Great Gatsby’ will impress you. I’m a die-hard fan of Fitzgerald and can vouch for his literary talent. When you read this book you cannot miss the flowing poetic language, as if one line merges into the next. Another thing that will strike you is the characters. Fitzgerald has shown such great observation of human nature. We can see this especially through the dialogues. That’s why I liked Shmoop. Its section on The Great Gatsby quotes is really wonderful. It helps you a lot in getting a fuller understanding of the characters. Check it out! They’ve got tons of stuff.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


David J. Schwartz
Mumble Herder

Recent and Forthcoming



US Edition

UK Edition


"The Sun Inside," part of the Electrum Novella Series from Rabit Transit Press

Short Stories:

"Escape to Bird Island" at The King's English, Winter 2008-9 Issue

"Bear In Contradicting Landscape" in Polyphony 7, Coming Soon

"MonstroCities" in Tumbarumba: A Frolic of Intrusions

"Mike's Place" in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet #22

"Proof of Zero" in Spicy Slipstream Stories, Out Now!!

"The Somnambulist" in Paper Cities: An Anthology of Urban Fantasy, Out Now!!

"Oma Dortchen and the Pillar of Story" in Farrago's Wainscot, Summer 2007

"The Ichthyomancer Writes His Friend with an Account of the Yeti's Birthday Party" in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet Number 13, Fall 2003 (Honorable Mention, The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Seventeenth Annual Collecion); Reprinted in The Best of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet


""Stardust" at Strange Horizons


"On Making Noise: Confessions of a Quiet Kid" in Brothers and Beasts: An Anthology of Men on Fairy Tales edited by Kate Bernheimer



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