Tender Is the Night
In 1932, Fitzgerald's wife Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald was hospitalized for schizophrenia in Baltimore, Maryland. The author rented the La Paix estate in the suburb of Towson to write this story of the rise and fall of Dick Diver, a promising young psychiatrist, and his wife, Nicole, who is also one of his patients. It was Fitzgerald's first novel in nine years and the last that he would complete. The early 1930s, when Fitzgerald conceived the book, were the darkest years of his life, and the novel's bleakness reflects his own experiences. The novel almost mirrors the events of Fitzgerald and Zelda's lives, as characters are pulled and put back into mental care, and the male figure, Dick Diver, starts his descent into alcoholism.
Fitzgerald considered Tender Is the Night to be his greatest work. Although it received a tepid response upon release, it has grown in acclaim over the years and is widely regarded as among Fitzgerald's best books. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked the novel 28th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.