Before Prince created the Minnesota Sound, Jason Diamond reminds us that F. Scott Fitzgerald was a native Minnesotan. In his article for the travel section of the New York Times – Tracing F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Minnesota Roots – Diamond reviews the Minnesota places haunting many of Fitzgerald’s work.
“He wrote The Beautiful and the Damned in the yellow Victorian home with the wide porch on Goodrich Avenue and took strolls along White Bear Lake, about 10 miles to the north, in his mid-20s, newly married and having just published his first book – it was the place where he was inspired to set and write Winter Dreams. Minnesota, it seemed, was good to him.”
I had never read “Winter Dreams,” and found the short story free online -you can read it here – Winter Dreams – full of Minnesota references.
Fitzgerald was a prolific writer but in 1936, as he was convalescing in a hotel in Asheville, North Carolina, he offered his nurse a list of 22 books he thought were essential reading – none of his were on the list.
These are books that F. Scott Fitzgerald thought should be required reading. Have you read any of them?
- Sister Carrie, by Theodore Dreiser
- The Life of Jesus, by Ernest Renan
- A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen
- Winesburg, Ohio, by Sherwood Anderson
- The Old Wives’ Tale, by Arnold Bennett
- The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiel Hammett
- The Red and the Black, by Stendahl
- The Short Stories of Guy De Maupassant, translated by Michael Monahan
- An Outline of Abnormal Psychology, edited by Gardner Murphy
- The Stories of Anton Chekhov, edited by Robert N. Linscott
- The Best American Humorous Short Stories, edited by Alexander Jessup
- Victory, by Joseph Conrad
- The Revolt of the Angels, by Anatole France
- The Plays of Oscar Wilde
- Sanctuary, by William Faulkner
- Within a Budding Grove, by Marcel Proust
- The Guermantes Way, by Marcel Proust
- Swann’s Way, by Marcel Proust
- South Wind, by Norman Douglas
- The Garden Party, by Katherine Mansfield
- War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy
- John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley: Complete Poetical Works