Scott Fitzgerald, a romantic and tragic figure who embodied the decades between the two world wars, was a writer who took his material almost entirely from his life: "My characters are all Scott Fitzgerald. Even the female characters are Scott Fitzgerald." In this much-needed new biography, Jeffrey Meyers offers a perceptive interpretation of both the life and the work of one of America's finest novelists. Despite his early success with The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald's life became a battle against failure and disappointment. Struggling for artistic integrity, he compromised his talent to support his extravagant way of life. His friend and lifelong hero, Ernest Hemingway, was a harsh critic of both his behavior and his novels, but Fitzgerald accepted this with remarkable humility. Meyers portrays the volatile connection between theses two writers with insight and poignancy, as he does Fitzgerald's marriage to the schizophrenic Zelda. Insecure emotionally as well as artistically, Fitzgerald was paradoxically both blighted and enhanced as man and writer through this tortured union: out of it blossomed his classic novel Tender is the Night. This book, by the acclaimed biographer of Hemingway, is the first to analyze frankly the meaning as well as the events of Fitzgerald's life and to illuminte the recurrent patterns that reveal his inner self. Meyers emphasizes Fitzgerald's alcoholism, Zelda's illnesses and her doctors, Fitzgerald's love affairs both before and after her breakdown, and his wide-ranging friendships, from the polo star Tommy Hitchcock to the Hollywood executive Irving Thalberg. His writer friends included Ring Lardner, John Dos Passos, James Joyce, Edith Wharton and Dorothy Parker. Meyers also discusses Fitzgerald's fascinating relationship with his daughter, Scottie. Exercising a fine critical balance, he details Fitzgerald's weaknesses but ultimately reveals a man capable of fierce loyalty and great moral courage.