Q: What attracted you to the story of F. Scott Fitzgerald in Los Angeles?
We’ll always be fascinated with Scott and Zelda’s fall from grace from the pinnacle of celebrity and fame. That attracts a lot of writers and readers. But I want to talk about that later story when he gets up off that mat and becomes himself again. I want Scott’s point of view, and you can only do that though fiction.
Q: What is happening to Fitzgerald when the book begins?
It’s 1937. His wife Zelda is in a private asylum in North Carolina, and he realizes that she is not getting better. His daughter is in Connecticut, and he’s deeply in debt to his agent. He has no other prospects, and he has no choice but to try screenwriting for the third time.
On Wednesday, March 11 at 6pm, Stewart will be giving a public reading at Point Park University. Read all about it:
BESTSELLING NOVELIST STEWART O’NAN TO LEAD MASTER CLASS AT POINT PARK
Stewart O’Nan is the latest award-winning author to be a part of the Point Park University Writers’ Series. He will teach a master class exclusively for Point Park students March 11, 2015, and then will lead a public reading at 6 p.m. in Lawrence Hall 200.
Maureen Corrigan, author and NPR book critic, talks to co-host Nicole Nelson about her latest book, So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came To Be And Why It Endures, as well as what some of Fitzgerald’s revisions left behind in earlier drafts of the novel, the importance of water imagery in the book, and her experience retracing some of the author’s steps. In the second half, Stewart O’Nan discusses his latest novel West of Sunset, which fictionalizes the last chapter of Fitzgerald’s life, the Hollywood years. He talks about coming late to appreciate Fitzgerald himself, what kind of research was required to immerse himself in the world of Hollywood in the late 1930s, and how his experience writing narrative nonfiction helped create a world that served both history and his character. (Broadcast date: February 25, 2015)
“I can only thank Stewart O’Nan for bringing this version of this writer to me in such a way. And only Stewart O’Nan, with his meticulous care and precision he brings to the page, could have done it. Bravo!”
More Reviews of West of the Sun
The Buffalo News
The Washington Post
The Boston Globe
The Seattle Times
The Washington Post Book Club presents an exclusive interview with author Stewart O’Nan as he discusses his latest novel and Book Club fiction pick for February, “West of Sunset” with Book World Editor Ron Charles. Leading up to the interview, Book Club members had the opportunity to submit questions to O’Nan about “West of Sunset” and some are addressed in the conversation.
Learn more about The Washington Post Book Club and join the conversation surrounding monthly picks in fiction and nonfiction online.
Read the review of Stewart O’Nan’s “West of Sunset” in Book World.