Once Again to Zelda by Marlene Wagman-Geller

This post is for Carol who thinks everyone should read the classics.

A fascinating look at the stories behind the dedications of 50 literary classics.

Mary Shelley dedicated Frankenstein to her father, her greatest champion. Charlotte Brönte dedicated Jane Eyre to William Makepeace Thackeray for his enthusiastic review of the book's first edition. Dostoyevsky dedicated The Brothers Karamazov to his typist-turned-lover Anna Grigoyevna. And, as this collection's title indicates, F. Scott Fitzgerald dedicated his masterpiece The Great Gatsby to his wife Zelda. Often overlooked, a novel's dedication can say much about an author and his or her relationship to the person for whom the book was consecrated. Once Again to Zelda explores the dedications in fifty iconic books that are an intrinsic part of both literary and pop culture, shedding light on the author's psyche, as well as the social and historic context in which the book was first published. - Barnes & Noble.com


If you have ever wondered about the people mentioned in the author dedications of your favorite books, you may find an answer here. Curious about the dedication in Grace Metalious's Peyton Place, author and teacher Wagman-Geller began delving into the author's history and the background of numerous other authors. Through her research, she discovered the stories behind the dedications in over 50 well-known books. Was Mrs. Samuel Clemens a prototype for Mark Twain's Aunt Sally in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn? Was Harry Potter based in part on a local bully? And how did Amy Tan's mother's Alzheimer's trigger the author's own memory? This collection of intriguing accounts about the people behind the books speaks to the idea that truth is stranger and far more complex than the fiction it spawns. Wagman-Geller has done extensive research on each author and provides a generous list of references. Recommended for public libraries. - Nedra Crowe-Evers - Library Journal

I am really enjoying this book. These are 50 short little stories about the author and their lives.