The Paper Dolls of Zelda Fitzgerald

Scribner. Nov. 2022. 128p. ISBN 9781982187194. $25.99. DEC ARTS
Most people know Zelda Fitzgerald as the wife of novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, or as a novelist in her own right (having authored 1932’s Save Me the Waltz). Here her granddaughter Lanahan (Scottie, the Daughter of…: The Life of Frances Scott Fitzgerald; Zelda: An Illustrated Life) explores Fitzgerald’s life as an artist, focusing on something she crafted specifically for family, her paper dolls. Fitzgerald had hoped to publish a book of the dolls, which sadly did not happen during her lifetime, but Lanahan has now fulfilled that dream, years after first stumbling across the paper dolls in an attic when she was 10. There are paper dolls of the young Fitzgerald family, of Hansel and Gretel, of the court of Louis XIV, and more. The dolls range from nine to 14 inches tall, and each comes with at least one costume change. Fitzgerald crafted these dolls with a particular attention to their musculatures, and their faces often are reminiscent of impressionist works of art. Lanahan groups the extant paper dolls according to themes, and they are truly a sight to behold.
VERDICT A fascinating glimpse beyond the surface of a person whose personal life has been thoroughly examined. It is incredible to see yet another facet of Zelda Fitzgerald’s infinite creativity and artistry.
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