Set in the South of France in the decade after the First World War, Tender is the Night explores the new world of moneyed leisure found by the first generation of idle-rich Americans to take refuge in the French Riviera, bracketed between the horrors of the Great War and the Great Depression to come. It is the story of a brilliant and magnetic psychiatrist named Dick Diver; the bewitching, wealthy, and dangerously unstable mental patient, Nicole, who becomes his wife; and the beautiful, harrowing ten-year pas de deux they act out along the border between sanity and madness.
F. Scott Fitzgerald deliberately set out to write the most ambitious and far-reaching novel of his career, experimenting radically with narrative conventions of chronology and point of view and drawing on early breakthroughs in psychiatry to enrich his account of the makeup and breakdown of character and culture.
This stunning Macmillan Collector's Library edition of Tender is the Night features an afterword by Ned Halley.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) was born into a well-to-do Catholic family living in St Paul, Minnesota. At Princeton University he decided to become a writer, leaving without graduating in 1917 to join the army when America entered the First World War. Believing he would be killed at the front, he hurriedly wrote his first novel, but was not sent to Europe. His first novel, This Side of Paradise (1920) was published to great critical acclaim. He married Zelda Sayle a week after the publication and they embarked on an extravagant lifestyle in New York, which provided much material for The Beautiful and Damned (1922). By this time their daughter, Scottie, had been born, Scott and Zelda had moved to Long Island, which was to be the setting of Fitzgerald's next novel, The Great Gatsby (1925). His fourth novel Tender is the Night, was published in 1934.