BackStories, brought forth – “Once Again to Zelda” by Marlene Wagman-Gellar
Ayn Rand dedicated “Atlas Shrugged” to both her husband AND her lover.
Salman Rushdie’s “The Satanic Verses” was considered so blasphemous that the author had to go into hiding to avoid people seeking the reward laid down for killing him? (And that the person who translated the book into Japanese was stabbed to death over the book?)
Amy Tan dated a drug dealer who had escaped from a German mental hospital?
Eugene O’Neill stopped speaking to his daughter Oona after she married a notorious womanizer – named Charlie Chaplin.
Authors are fascinating. Sometimes, moreso than the works they produce. Marlene Wagman-Gellar’s “Once Again to Zelda” compiles the stories behind the dedications to fifty famous novels into one neat and adorable little book. From Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” to Dan Brown’s “The DaVinci Code,” the entire history of modern literature is covered. The friendship between Harper Lee and Truman Capote, the tragic romance of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda, and the story of the men that inspired Margaret Mitchell to create Rhett Butler – all of these stories, and more, are included in this remarkable little volume.
If, like me, you’re fascinated by the people who create the stories that live for generations and decades, this book is for you. (Also, it’s a great bedside read, since the chapters are short – around 5 pages each.)