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May 13: "Once Again to Zelda": The Dedications Behind the Classics

Marlene Wagman-Geller
Thursday, May 13, 3:30 p.m.
Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall, 128 Wall Street
Free and open to the public

Mary Shelley dedicated Frankenstein to her father, her greatest champion. Charlotte Brönte eventually 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 talk's title indicates, F. Scott Fitzgerald dedicated his masterpiece The Great Gatsby to his wife Zelda.

A book's dedication says so much about an author's relationship to the person to whom the book was dedicated. In "Once Again to Zelda": The Stories Behind Literature's Most Intriguing Dedications (Perigee 2008) Marlene Wagman-Geller explores the dedications in fifty iconic books that are an intrinsic part of literary and pop culture, shedding light on the author's psyche, as well as the social and historical context in which the book was first published. The New York Times praised the book, writing that "Once Again to Zelda" helps "untangle densely knotted lives."

The lecture is free and open to the public.