The Great Gatsby has long been synonymous with Long Island, but what if Fitzgerald’s true inspiration came from here in Connecticut? Historian and author Richard “Deej” Webb examines the possibility in his book Boats Against the Current: The Honeymoon Summer of Scott and Zelda: Westport, Connecticut 1920.
A companion documentary titled “Gatsby in Connecticut: The Untold Story”, directed by Robert Steven Williams is slated to be released this fall.
Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald honeymooned for five months in the summer of 1920 in a modest gray house in Westport, Connecticut. It was an experience that had a more profound impact on both of their collective works than any other place they lived.
It was, for Scott and Zelda, their honeymoon. Having just gotten married and after being kicked out of some of New York city’s finest hotels, they were, for the first time, in their very own place, albeit for only five months. It was a time that Scott Fitzgerald called “the happiest year since I was eighteen.”He had, after all, just achieved success with his first novel, This Side of Paradise,and was suddenly awash with money.
The Fitzgeralds lived a wild life of drinking, driving and endless partying while living in suburban Connecticut. As it happens, living near the beach, they were neighbors to a larger-than-life reclusive multi-millionaire, F.E. Lewis.
The Minor Memorial Library is pleased to welcome Deej Webb and Robert Williams as they discusses their book and documentary. A reception and book signing will follow the talk.
Williams is an executive producer, director, writer, and editor. His production company, Against the Grain Productions, produces short videos primarily for not-for-profits including the Paul Newman charity Safe Water Network and Land is Life, an organization that safeguards the rights of indigenous people around the world. Williams’ debut novel, My Year as a Clown, released on the indie imprint Against the Grain Press and distributed by INscribe Digital, received the silver medal for popular fiction from the Independent Publisher Book Awards in 2013. It has sold more than 5,000 digital copies and reached number one on three Amazon charts.
Webb is an author, documentary filmmaker, and historian. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, he is an award-winning educator who has taught at the high school and university level for more than 25 years. Considered a local authority on Westport history, he is a consultant to the local historical society and has given talks throughout Fairfield County on the Fitzgeralds’ time in Westport.