Picture of author.

Nancy Milford (1938–2022)

Autor(a) de Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay

2+ Works 3,076 Membros 45 Reviews 1 Favorited

About the Author

Nancy Milford's "Zelda" was translated into twelve languages, sold over 1.4 million copies in five editions, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Book Award. She lives in New York and will be teaching at Princeton University in the fall. (Bowker Author Biography)
Disambiguation Notice:

(eng) Sometimes confused with Nancy Mitford. Be careful not to combine the two.
Also, despite the fact that Ms. Milford wrote a book about Zelda Fitzgerald, she isn't Zelda Fitzgerald, who has her very own author page. Do not combine them. Thank you for your help.

Image credit: Nancy Milford

Obras de Nancy Milford

Associated Works

The Selected Poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay (Modern Library Classics) (2001) — Editor, algumas edições335 cópias
Adrienne Rich's Poetry [Norton Critical Edition] (1975) — Contribuinte — 126 cópias
Christopher Wilmarth: Light and Gravity (2004) — Contribuinte — 15 cópias


Conhecimento Comum

Outros nomes
Winston, Nancy Lee (birth)
Data de nascimento
Data de falecimento
Local de nascimento
Dearborn, Michigan, USA
Locais de residência
New York, New York, USA
University of Michigan (B.A.)
Columbia University (MA | PhD)
Leon Levy Center for Biography, Graduate Center, CUNY (executive director)
Aviso de desambiguação
Sometimes confused with Nancy Mitford. Be careful not to combine the two.
Also, despite the fact that Ms. Milford wrote a book about Zelda Fitzgerald, she isn't Zelda Fitzgerald, who has her very own author page. Do not combine them. Thank you for your help.



Fascinating and very readable biography.
lschiff | outras 24 resenhas | Sep 24, 2023 |
The is the life of the enigmatic Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, a picture of the Jazz age, the original flapper. That is who we think she was and that is the way history portrays her. We see her in our minds zipping through Paris with her charming husband, Scott, and hobnobbing with the literary elite of the time, and she was all that, but so much less.

Before reading this, I was aware that Zelda had serious mental, nervous conditions and was institutionalized, but I did not grasp how much of her life was spent in that way, how little was spent in the other, carefree years of youth, and how much of her time was spent in complete exile from her husband. They do not paint and charming picture, they paint a troubled one. He is an alcoholic, she is a schizophrenic and both are romantics. Imagine what Gatsby would have learned if he had actually attained possession of Daisy...well, Scott Fitzgerald got his Daisy to keep and it was not pretty.

In the beginning of this account, I did not like Scott very much and I thought he contributed to Zelda's lack of center with his treatment of her. He lifted large sections of her letters and converted them word for word almost into his novels, he portrayed her mercilessly in his prose and bridled at the attempts she made to express herself and become a writer as well. He was afraid of her and contemptuous of her and yet he loved her in that way that we love things we cannot possess but cannot let go of. She answered his obsession with her own and they ate each other alive.

By the end, it is mostly Scott I feel for. His egoism and self-confidence have mostly flown and he has turned to his past so much that he has mined it of all its resources. He never deserted Zelda. He paid for her treatments and wrote her weekly letters and single-handedly raised their child. As exasperating as it must have been, he never filed for divorce or deserted her.

I never felt as if I knew Zelda. Perhaps she is a person one cannot really know. There is just too much about her that is not the norm, which is what makes her fascinating and also what makes her sad.

She was a misplaced Southern girl. That I could relate to. "down in Alabama all the good people ate biscuits for breakfast, which made them very beautiful and pleasant and happy, while up in Connecticut all the people at bacon and eggs and toast, which made them very cross and bored and miserable--especially if they happened to have been brought up on biscuits."

She felt herself falling apart, which must be much worse than falling apart without having any recognition: "You were going crazy and calling it genius--I was going to ruin and calling it anything that came to hand."

And, finally, she lost all control of her own life. A person who had been such a free-spirit and so artistic, to find themselves categorized and controlled and forced to be so 'normal' and ordinary must have been a thing of great pain. "It seems to me a kind of castration, but since I am powerless I suppose I will have to submit, though I am neithr young enough nor credulous enough to think that you can manufacture out of nothing something to replace the song that I had."

They were two very sad people, but at least they had the song at one time. Some people never do.
… (mais)
mattorsara | outras 19 resenhas | Aug 11, 2022 |
I thought this book was interesting, but way too long. I also wonder what a modern biography would make on the feminist implications of Zelda's mental illness. Perhaps if Zelda had been born 80 years later, she would have had a satisfying and fulfilling professional life and not have had so many issues dealing with a sexist world and husband. Her life was certainly a version of "the problem that has no name."

Specific issue with the ebook version of this book: it was published in 2013, back when publishers would just OCR a book and publish it as an ebook with zero additional editing. There are so many typos (in the regular text, not the quotes), bad formatting, and randomly italicized words that this book becomes hard to read at times.… (mais)
lemontwist | outras 19 resenhas | Jul 30, 2022 |
After stumbling across Edna St. Vincent Millay's poem Renescence in an anthology in school I've been a fan of her poetry. This was an excellent biography of one of America's best-loved poets and a look at the wild side of life in the twenties. Milford did extensive research and includes a lot of poetry and letters in the book.
auldhouse | outras 24 resenhas | Sep 30, 2021 |



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