Tuesday, April 23, 2013

R. Clifton Spargo, currently an Arts Fellow and Master of Fine Arts candidate at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, will read from his new novel, Beautiful Fools: The Last Affair of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, in a free reading at Prairie Lights Books in downtown Iowa City. The reading also will be streamed live on the University of Iowa Writing University website.

r. clifton spargo portrait
R. Clifton Spargo

In Beautiful Fools, Spargo crafts a portrait of the passionate yet tragically dysfunctional relationship between F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. In 1939, Scott is living in Hollywood, a virulent alcoholic and deeply in debt. Despite his relationship with gossip columnist Sheila Graham, he remains fiercely loyal to Zelda, his soul mate and muse. In an attempt to fuse together their fractured marriage, Scott arranges a trip to Cuba, where, after a disastrous first night in Havana, the couple runs off to a beach resort outside the city. But even in paradise, Scott and Zelda cannot escape the dangerous intensity of their relationship.

Acclaimed author Tom Perrotta calls Beautiful Fools “a vivid and revealing look at two charismatic, self-destructive people, and the love that sustained and ruined them. It's a real feat of historical imagination and novelistic empathy.”

Spargo has published stories in the Antioch Review, FICTION, Glimmer Train, SOMA, and the Kenyon Review, among other places. His essays and reviews on literature, culture, and rock music have been featured in Raritan, Commonweal, the Yale Review, and the Chicago Tribune, and he writes a blog called The HI/LO, on the interplay between high and low culture, for the Huffington Post.

The Iowa Writers’ Workshop is a graduate program in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI events. If you require an accommodation to attend this reading, call Jan Weissmiller at Prairie Lights in advance at 319-337-2681.

For a UI arts calendar and details about upcoming events visit the new Arts Iowa website.