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  • Zelda Fitzgerald week celebrates literary history

    Saturday, March 2, 2024   /   by Amy Brown

    Zelda Fitzgerald week celebrates literary history

    "Love first and live incidentally" - Zelda Fitzgerald

    Asheville has been known as an inspirational destination for many writers over the decades but none so infamous and exciting as the Fitzgeralds. The couple spent many intermittent years here in the city with Scott staying the majority of the time at the Grove Park Inn while Zelda was receiving treatments at Highland Hospital. While their story is tragic, the contribution that they made to the literary world was extraordinary.

    Next week we will be celebrating the work of Zelda Fitzgerald, a writer, dancer, artist, and her husband's muse. Come and enjoy some of the fun and enlightening events while Asheville gives its tribute to Zelda Fitzgerald and the Roaring 20s.


    Zelda Fitzgerald’s legacy will be commemorated throughout the week.

    Photo courtesy of Smithsonian Institute

    Get jazzed up to celebrate a 1920s icon and her connection to our community. Zelda Fitzgerald Week, presented by supportive art space Aurora Studio & Gallery, will honor the writer + artist and dive into the creative world of Fitzgerald and her contemporaries.

    Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald embodied the Jazz Age zeitgeist and became a symbol both in her own right and through her fictional depictions in the novels of her husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Her world wasn’t all liberality and leisure, though, and Fitzgerald struggled with mental health issues during much of her life. She and her family loved visiting Asheville throughout her childhood, but Fitzgerald’s connection to the city in her later life came mostly in the form of Highland Hospital. During one of her stays at Highland, a fire broke out in the main wing, and on the night of March 10, 1948, Fitzgerald was killed, along with eight other women.


    The Asheville History Museum has a first-edition copy of Zelda Fitzgerald’s “Save Me the Waltz” from the library at Highland Hospital. The library card shows it was first checked out by Fitzgerald herself.

    Photo by Anne Chesky

    From Thursday, March 7 to Sunday, March 10, you can explore the life and work of a woman whose persona still enchants to this day.

    Asheville’s Doomed Duo: F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald | Thursday, March 7 | 2-3 p.m. | North Asheville Library, 1030 Merrimon Ave., Asheville | Free | UNC Asheville literature professor Tom Hearron will lecture on the lives and literature of the celebrity duo.

    “The Cruise of the Rolling Junk” | Thursday, March 7 | 6-7:30 p.m. | Thomas Wolfe Memorial State Historic Site, 52 N. Market St., Asheville | Free | Mark Taylor, an F. Scott Fitzgerald tour guide in St. Paul, MN, will share the author’s nonfiction work about the couple’s eight-day car ride from Connecticut to Alabama.

    Zelda Fitzgerald: Her Lifelong Love of and Visits to Asheville | Friday, March 8 | 6-7 p.m. | AmeriHealth Caritas NC, 216 Asheland Ave., Asheville | Free | Dr. Alaina Doten, curator and director of the Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald Museum in Montgomery, AL and host of the podcast, “Zelda’s Peaches & Biscuits,” will deliver a keynote on Fitzgerald’s connection to Asheville — from childhood to the time of her death.

    “Becoming the Ex-Wife” and a screening of “The Divorcee” | Saturday, March 9 | 1-4:30 p.m. | East Asheville Library, 3 Avon Rd., Asheville | Free | Author Dr. Marsha Gordon, a film studies professor at North Carolina State University, will discuss her new biography of writer Ursula Parrott, one of Fitzgerald’s contemporaries, as well as the film based on Parrott’s 1929 best-seller, “Ex-Wife.”

    A Literary Tasting | Sunday, March 10 | 2 p.m. | Battery Park Book Exchange, 1 Page Ave., Ste. 101, Asheville | Free | Monika Gross of At-A-Site Theater will offer personalized readings to patrons from various Fitzgerald writings — which will be paired with epicurean tastings. The event is free, but there will be a charge for the tastings.