In Memoriam: Scott Donaldson

(11 November 1928 to 1 December 2020)

On the art of literary biography:

“If you fall in love with your subject, you can so identify with your subject that you lose something of your own self to it. The first two biographers of Malcolm Lowry, who was a suicide, they both killed themselves. Maybe they had that inclination to begin with. But there is this sense of falling out of one’s own personality into someone else’s. That can happen.”

The F. Scott Fitzgerald Society mourns the passing of one of our leading scholarly lights and most supportive mentors. Scott Donaldson passed away on December 1, 2020. He leaves behind several of the definitive essays and books on Fitzgerald, including Fool for Love, first published in 1983 and recently reprinted by the University of Minnesota Press, and Fitzgerald and Hemingway: Works and Days, published by Columbia University Press in 2010. His memoir of his career, The Impossible Craft (2015), is also a crucial read for anyone interested in the challenges, both practical and aesthetic, of writing literary biography.

As we process Scott’s passing, we’ll be adding memorials and testimonials from friends, colleagues, and students.

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