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Authors: Erika Robuck

Tags: #Fiction, #Historical

Call Me Zelda

BOOK: Call Me Zelda
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Praise for

“You thought you knew everything about the Fitzgeralds, their drama, delight, dazzle, and despair? This gem of a novel spins a different, touching story, drawing you right into their intimacy and fragility through the eyes of Zelda’s caring nurse, Anna. You will love it, as I absolutely did.”

—Tatiana de Rosnay,
New York Times
bestselling author of
Sarah’s Key
The House I Loved

“A Jamesian sense of the uncanny haunts Erika Robuck’s poignant, compassionate portrait of Zelda Fitzgerald’s desperate dance with mental illness.
Call Me Zelda
is mesmerizing, page-turning, and provides us with a fresh, very human look at two literary icons.”

—Maryanne O’Hara, author of

“In this richly imagined story, Erika Robuck has captured the creative brilliance and madness of Zelda Fitzgerald. Told through the eyes of a compassionate psychiatric nurse,
Call Me Zelda
is an unsettling yet tender portrayal of two women inextricably bound by hope and tragedy.”

Beth Hoffman,
New York Times
bestselling author of
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
Looking for Me

“In this haunting and beautifully atmospheric novel, Erika Robuck pulls back the curtain on the Jazz Age’s most shining couple and offers up a sobering account of the casualties of genius and celebrity. She brilliantly brings Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald to life in all their doomed beauty, with compelling and unforgettable results.”

—Alex George, author of
A Good American

“Set in the hazy hangover of the Jazz Age,
Call Me Zelda
intertwines the stories of the quietly grieving psychiatric nurse Anna with the postglitterati relationship of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his vibrant, disturbed wife, Zelda. Robuck writes with an open and sympathetic heart about the dark side of the psyche and how friendship and healing are found in the unlikeliest ways. I was utterly absorbed and eager to return to the story. This is going on my reread shelf.”

—Margaret Dilloway, author of
The Care and
Handling of Roses with Thorns

Praise for

“Robuck’s breathtaking alchemy is to put us inside the world of Hemingway and his wife Pauline, and add a bold young woman to the mix with a story uniquely her own. Dazzlingly written and impossibly moving, this novel is a supernova.”

—Caroline Leavitt,
New York Times
author of
Pictures of You

“Robuck drops the fictional nineteen-year-old Mariella Bennet into the life of Ernest Hemingway in her richly realized newest…. Robuck brings Key West to life, and her Hemingway is fully fleshed out and believable, as are Mariella and others. Readers will delight in the complex relationships and vivid setting.”

Publishers Weekly

“Writing in clear and supple prose, Erika Robuck evokes a setting of the greatest fascination—Hemingway’s household in Key West in the 1930s, where we see her captivating heroine growing in insight and beginning to learn about love. This is assured and richly enjoyable storytelling.”

—Margaret Leroy, author of
The Soldier’s Wife

“Hired as a maid in the Hemingway household, Mariella learns to navigate the complicated allure of his interest while maintaining her own fierce heart. She weathers many storms with feisty strength and a memorable clarity, coming to recognize the many faces of true love.”


“Robuck pens a love letter to all of us who ache to have more Hemingway. Set against the enchanting, tempestuous landscape of Key West in the 1930s,
Hemingway’s Girl
imagines the powerful and resilient women behind the mythical man. An inspiring story of heartache and renewal. Readers will be sure to enjoy this ode to a literary icon.”

—Sarah McCoy, author of
The Baker’s Daughter
The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico

“Historical novels rise or fall on how believably they portray their eras and the characters who populate them. Ernest Hemingway comes to life in
Hemingway’s Girl
, but he meets his match in Mariella, a tough, smart nineteen-year-old making her way in a vividly realized Key West. Erika Robuck’s novel is colorful, atmospheric, and a pleasure to plunge into.”

—Joseph Wallace, author of
Diamond Ruby

“Even if you aren’t a Hemingway aficionado, you’ll love this robust, tender story of love, grief, and survival on Key West in the 1930s. And Hemingway fans should agree that because of its strong heroine and writing,
Hemingway’s Girl
is a novel of which Papa himself would approve. Addictive.”

—Jenna Blum,
New York Times
bestselling author
Those Who Save Us
The Stormchasers

“I read
Hemingway’s Girl
in a single sitting—I couldn’t put it down. I fell in love with Robuck’s Hemingway and with the fiery Mariella Bennet, but what I loved most was the novel’s message: that we can inspire each other to be better human beings.”

—Ann Napolitano, author of
A Good Hard Look

“Erika Robuck brings to vivid life the captivating and volatile world of a literary legend. Like a Key West hurricane,
Hemingway’s Girl
gains power and momentum, destroying much in its path, and reminds the reader of the strength found in healing. Fans of Ernest Hemingway will devour this book!”

—Kristina McMorris, author of
Letters from Home
Bridge of Scarlet Leaves

“Fans of Paula McLain’s
The Paris Wife
will adore Erika Robuck’s spellbinding tale of Hemingway and the fiercely independent Cuban girl he befriends in 1930s Key West. Robuck is a gifted storyteller, and in
Hemingway’s Girl
, she brings the literary legend to life: his passions for boxing and fishing, the tumult of his second marriage, his curious tenderness toward Mariella, whose beauty he is enthralled by and whose grit he admires. Evocative and taut,
Hemingway’s Girl
is an irresistible, exhilarating story of love and adventure, impossible to put down.”

—Dawn Tripp, bestselling author of
Game of Secrets


Hemingway’s Girl

Receive Me Falling


New American Library

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,

New York, New York 10014, USA

USA | Canada | UK | Ireland | Australia | New Zealand | India | South Africa | China

Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

For more information about the Penguin Group visit

First published by New American Library,

a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

First Printing, May 2013

Copyright © Erika Robuck, 2013

Readers Guide copyright © Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 2013

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.



Robuck, Erika.

Call me Zelda/Erika Robuck.

p. cm.

ISBN: 978-1-101-61415-0

1. Fitzgerald, Zelda, 1900–1948—Fiction. 2. Fitzgerald, F. Scott (Francis Scott), 1896–1940—Fiction. 3. Authors, American—Fiction. 4. Psychiatric hospital patients—Fiction. 5. Psychiatric nurses—Fiction. 6. Female friendship—Fiction. 7. Self-actualization Psychology—Fiction. 8. Baltimore (Md.)—Fiction. 9. Psychological fiction. I. Title.

PS3618.O338C35 2013


Designed by Spring Hoteling


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

    The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.


Table of Contents

First Act
BOOK: Call Me Zelda
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