Books: Not So Tender Was the Night

ZELDA by Nancy Milford. 424 pages. Harper & Row. $10.

"All I want is to be very young always and very irresponsible," Zelda once wrote Scott Fitzgerald.

It was a charming idea, of course, and one particularly apt to the Jazz Age. But it must have been a bit unsettling to find such a statement in a letter from one's fiancee. By anybody's judgment, Scott Fitzgerald made a disastrous marriage. As this painstakingly researched biography shows, though, he was thoroughly forewarned. He met Zelda in 1918 when she was the belle of Montgomery, Ala., society...

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