Theodore Weesner in 1972. Credit Random House
From The New York Times:
Theodore Weesner, a novelist who mined his wayward youth for the stuff of his celebrated first novel, “The Car Thief,” and whose half-dozen other books earned plaudits for their patient, realistic narratives and humanely considered characters, died on Thursday at a hospital near his home in Portsmouth, N.H. He was 79.
The cause was congestive heart failure, his son Theodore Jr. said.
Mr. Weesner’s conventional literary life of teaching and writing emerged from decidedly unconventional beginnings. The child of an alcoholic father and a teenage mother, he spent part of his youth with other children in an unofficial foster home, became a distressed and introspective teenager who turned to petty crime, never graduated from high school and lied about his age to join the Army at 17.
His 1987 book, “The True Detective,” which is set in Portsmouth and employs multiple perspectives in telling the story of the abduction and murder of a 12-year-old boy, received mixed reviews, but its admirers include the novelist Stewart O’Nan, who, in a radio interview, called it “one of the great, great American novels.”
I was lucky enough to meet Frances this past January and thank her for her memoir, Against the Current, which helped me a great deal. At 98 she was still pithy, and loved telling stories about how working with Fitzgerald was an education.
– Stewart O’Nan
Frances Kroll Ring, one of the last living links to novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, died Thursday, her family said. She was 99 and died at home in Benedict Canyon after a short illness.
Ring began working as Fitzgerald’s secretary and typist in 1939, when he was sending out short stories, working occasionally for Hollywood studios and writing the manuscript “The Love of the Last Tycoon.”
From The Columbia Chronicle:
The Great Gatsby 90th Anniversary: 90 years ago on April 10, 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald published his literary opus, “The Great Gatsby.”
From The Daily News of Newburyport:
F. Scott Fitzgerald returns in “West of Sunset,” a re-creation of his movie years
The American trio of Fitzgerald, Faulkner and Hemingway continues to live – notably, in fiction.
Two recent books that created fictional treatments were “The Paris Wife,” about Hemingway’s first, and “Zelda,” a fictional look at the tempestuous relationship between Fitzgerald, the brilliant if drunken wordsmith, and Zelda, his talented flapper-wife who was institutionalized in her final years.
And there was the highly amusing movie, “Midnight in Paris,” by Woody Allen.
My favorite send-up character in that film was Hemingway: “Are a real man? Do you want to box?” (This after a dozen drinks).
Anyway, Your Scribe just finished “West of Sunset,” by Stewart O’Nan.