Author R. Clifton Spargo Speaking Engagements

On Friday, March 6, Chicago-based novelist, R. Clifton Spargo, will be making community speaking appearances for the public to attend for FREE.

Spargo Book Cover Image


Mr. Spargo will be speaking about the process of writing his new book, “Beautiful Fools: The Last Affair of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald,” and the parallels between the lives of the Fitzgeralds in his story with Daisy Buchanan and Jay Gatsby – the two main characters of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, “The Great Gatsby,” written in 1925.


Event details are:

  • 2:00-3:00 p.m. – Fairhaven Lecture Series (Whitewater); This event is FREE and open to the public. No registration required. “Beautiful Fools” will be available for sale and signing. Fairhaven lectures are held in the Fellowship Hall of Fairhaven Retirement Community, 435 West Starin Road in Whitewater. Street parking is adjacent to the building.
  • 5:00-6:00 p.m. – Lake Geneva Public Library; This event is FREE and open to the public. No registration required. “Beautiful Fools” will be available for sale and signing. Event will be held in the library, located at 918 West Main Street in downtown Lake Geneva. Street or metered parking is available.

Mr. Spargo’s novel imagines the missing, final chapter in the tragic romance of one of America’s great literary couples. “Beautiful Fools” is the story of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s last trip together to save their passionate but ill-fated marriage; a heartbreaking testament to the limitlessness of hope.

SONY DSCR. Clifton Spargo is a novelist and cultural critic who writes the blog “The HI/LO,” on the interplay between high and low culture, for The Huffington Post. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ workshop and the doctoral program in literature at Yale University, he is a past winner of Glimmer Train’s Award for New Writers as well as their Fiction Open Contest. His stories have appeared in several publications and they have been interpreted and performed by Chicago Public Radio’s Stories on Stage (2011) and the Watershed Theater in Des Moines (2012). He has taught creative writing at Yale University, Marquette University, and as the Provost’s Visiting Writer in Fiction at the University of Iowa. For more information, visit

This year’s “Readeasy” event does not prohibit reading!

Young Auditorium’s “Readeasy” features the classic novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The goal of our Readeasy is to provide an opportunity for the UW-Whitewater campus and community at large to participate in activities and engage in discussion related to a common read. In this case, Fitzgerald’s Gatsby is our inspiration for a variety of events ranging from book club discussions, to 1920’s dance workshops, and culminating with Montana Repertory Theatre’s performance of The Great Gatsby at Young Auditorium on March 18, 2015.

Why Gatsby?  Fitzgerald’s novel is arguably the most popular classic in modern American fiction. Published in 1925, this masterpiece captures the grandeur and opulence of the Roaring 20’s and juxtaposes that with challenges of the human condition. The story of Jay Gatsby touches on universal themes such as desire, unrequited love, the importance of honesty, the temptation of wealth, and the struggle to escape the past. It is perhaps because these themes speak to us on a very basic level of human understanding that this novel has become a hallmark for generations of readers and writers.

Why “Readeasy?” Readeasy is a play on the term “speakeasy.” The sale, manufacture and transportation of alcoholic beverages was illegal in the United States during the Prohibition Era (1920-1933). A speakeasy was an establishment that illegally sold alcoholic beverages. There are numerous references to Prohibition, speakeasy establishments, and bootlegging in Fitzgerald’s Gatsby. This year, Young Auditorium is taking the initiative to independently program a common read, so we thought this name fitting.

Readeasy will feature a variety of events for all age ranges. We hope to see you at one (or more) of them!

Please stay tuned for more updates on Readeasy events taking place this spring.