The 25 Best Novels Written By Writers Under 30

4. This Side of Paradise (1920)

Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Age: 23

Fitzgerald, who's best known for the classic The Great Gatsby, wrote This Side of Paradise so he could get his woman back. He had been engaged to Zelda Sayre, but the engagement was broken off due to Zelda's feeling that Scott could not support her. He did what any rational man would do. He drank a ton, went back home to Minnesota, took a job fixing car roofs, and finished the novel.

Most of the time plans like this fail, but somehow he sold the novel, won back his lady, and got married in St. Patrick's Cathedral. Of course, Zelda famously turned out to be bat-shit crazy, but that's another, far sadder, story.

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