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December 1, 2007

BOOK

The Portable F. Scott Fitzgerald. The number-one book on my super-short grab-in-case-of-evacuation list is this Viking Portable edition of Fitzgerald's Greatest Hits, published in 1945 and, so far as I know, never reprinted. Dorothy Parker chose the selections and John O'Hara wrote the self-important but nonetheless oddly touching introduction: "He was elusive in life, God knows, and all through the writing of this piece he has refused to stay put, but the ectoplasm or the artist need not bother the reader or even me. For after all the stuff is here. The stuff is very much here, and it's mellow." The stuff in question is The Great Gatsby, Tender Is the Night, and nine of the very best short stories, all packed into a light but sturdy hardcover volume that will just about fit in the palm of your hand. More used copies are available here (TT).

Posted December 1, 2007 10:01 AM

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