No doubt like countless others across the land I have been nursing a World Cup hangover this week. Struggling for inspiration for a blog post I have decided to the take the opportunity to return to my Alcoholic Authors series. Here is Part V:
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Notable works: This Side of Paradise, The Great Gatsby, Tender Is the Night.
F. Scott Fitzgerald was an American author of novels and short stories, who is widely accepted as being one of the greatest writers of the 20th Century. An inspiration for a future generation of writers, F. Scott Fitzgerald is best remembered for his seminal work, The Great Gatsby. Adapted for the silver screen on five occasions, The Great Gatsby has sold millions of copies and is required reading in many schools and colleges.
Alcohol and alcoholics hold a prominent place in much of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s writing, which is perhaps not surprising considering the author was an alcoholic from college days to his death. A notorious exhibitionist who was prone to theatrical displays when under the influence, the iconic author was unwilling to quit his habit and even argued that drinking aided his writing efforts
At the age of forty-four F. Scott Fitzgerald died from an alcohol related heart attack.
Notable works: The Enormous Radio, Goodbye, My Brother, The Swimmer.
Sometimes referred to as ‘the Chekhov of the suburbs’, John Cheever is recognized as one of the most important short story writers of the 20th Century. He also wrote four novels. A compilation of his short stories, The Stories of John Cleever, won the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.In 1982 six weeks prior to his death Cheever was awarded the National Medal for Literature by the Academy of Arts and Letters.
At the height of his literary career Cheever began a twenty-year struggle with alcoholism. The writer’s outward appearance was at odds with his inner condition, and his drinking was presumably a means to cope with his sexual guilt (he was a closet bisexual) and a deep sense of self-loathing. The author did not admit to having a problem with alcohol until he was sent to a rehabilitation center in 1972, the same year that he suffered a massive heart attack. Cheever successfully quit drinking and lived to the relatively old age of seventy.
Click here to read Alcoholic Authors IV