Map of NC

Map of NC

September 25, 2018

F. Scott Fitzgerald's 112nd Birthday

Monday, September 24th, was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 112nd birthday. Best known for his classic book, The Great Gatsby, those who haven’t had the chance to visit Western Carolina may not know that Fitzgerald had ties to our state.

During the summers of 1935 and 1936, Fitzgerald stayed in Asheville, North Carolina to rest after contracting tuberculosis. Western Carolina had become a popular destination for such getaways, as the mountain air was thought to be good for the lungs. Fitzgerald stayed at the renown Grove Park Inn, and rented out two rooms: one for working, the other for writing. The summers spent there were a low period in his life. Fitzgerald was reportedly trying to cure his addiction to gin with what was known as the “beer cure,” and wrote short stories to pay debts and bills. One story written at that time, “I’d Die for You (The Legend of Lake Lure),” was set in Western NC and featured a young actress who had come to the area to star in a movie. He left North Carolina in 1937, heading west to Hollywood with the hopes of reigniting his career. His wife, Zelda, remained in the southeast, traveling between Asheville’s Highland Hospital for treatment and her mother’s home in Montgomery, Alabama.

"I'd Die for You (The Legend of Lake Lure)" and other lesser-known Fitzgerald short stories can be read in the book I'd Die for You: And Other Lost Stories. Find it and other Fitzgerald classics at your local bookstore or library. The North Carolina Literary Map also now features a tour of Fitzgerald’s life in Western NC, that may serve as a guide for tourists or may be explored virtually. Discover more about our state's literary heritage today!

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