As in many of Fitzgerald's other novels (including The Blue Flower, The Bookshop, and The Gate of Angels ), she constructs a main character only to do a bait-and-switch: the axes of her novels are often hidden, either in a supporting character or group of characters, as in Offshore; in the community itself, as in The Bookshop; or even in the spirit of a time or place, as in The Gate of Angels.
Offshore is an apt frame through which to read Fitzgerald's life, and not only because Fitzgerald pulled from personal experience as source material for the novel.
Some of Fitzgerald's economy, however, grew out of necessity.
Much less successful was the second collection, Tales of the Jazz Age (1922), which essentially recycles old college sketches and two meager playlets, in addition to what is regarded as one of his better experimental efforts, the novella "May Day." Tales of the Jazz Age is marred in particular by the inclusion of a flippant table of contents, which essentially denigrates every story in the book, including "May Day." Most critics, unfortunately, used Fitzgerald's remarks as justification for their negative appraisals.
At this point there occurred a major redirecting of Fitzgerald's efforts.
Several of Fitzgerald's best-known stories of early middle age, including "The Rich Boy" and "Winter Dreams," appear in this collection, as do several other excellent tales that have been overlooked by critics, such as "The Baby Party" and "Absolution."
Fitzgerald followed his first success with a collection of short stories, Flappers and Philosophers (1920), and a second novel, The Beautiful and Damned (1922), in which he describes the pervading goal of his day as " the final polish of the shoe, the ultimate dab of the clothes brush, and a sort of intellectual There!
From this point on, enormous financial and emotional pressures beset Fitzgerald. His next novel, Tender Is the Night, was not published until 1934, its progress inhibited by his constant need to sell magazine stories for cash.
In the 1930s 6 just as Fitzgerald was getting her start 6 jazz was under fire for its purported ties to drug culture.
In this climate, an ascendant singer named Ella Fitzgerald sought to take the opposite tack and cultivated a reputation as the "girl next door." Fitzgerald walked the fine line between being understood as a jazz artist and an entertainer.