West of Sunset in the News

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The Guardian

West of Sunset by Stewart O’Nan review – a fine fictional F Scott Fitzgerald

Sadness, estrangement and promise mark the last three years of the Great Gatsby author’s life as a helpless Hollywood hack

O’Nan imagines the last three years of Fitzgerald’s life, from 1937 to 1940, less as a second act than an intermission; a moment of uncertainty, in which the familiar scenery disappeared. West of Sunset captures the sadness of such moments, but also their promise: as its second epigraph states, “nothing was impossible – everything was just beginning.”

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Yorkshire Post

The gossip columnist who made Hollywood

“Few people who grew up against that kind of backdrop in the early 20th century ever escaped poverty, but Sheilah was a pretty incredible woman,” says American author Stewart O’Nan, whose latest novel West of Sunset is a fictionalised account of the last three years of the life of F Scott Fitzgerald when he lived with Graham.

“Her first job as a teenager was in a department store, but she had her sights set on much bigger things and became a music hall dancer. It gave her a taste of the entertainment business and before she left for America she had also begun writing a column for the Daily Express.”

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