DANGEROUS MUSE | NANCY SCHOENBERGER | DA CAPO | $18 | Lady Caroline Blackwood was gorgeous, half-nuts, filthy rich, mean-spirited, witty, and often drunk. An heiress to the Guinness fortune, she survived a terrifying childhood in a castle to go on to sleep with and wreak havoc upon both Lucien Freud and Robert Lowell. Is this a triumph? It's hard to say. But Schoenberger's brilliant account of her life sure is.


ZELDA | NANCY MILFORD | HARPER PERENNIAL | $16 | Zelda Fitzgerald's life was the most charmed life in the history of all lives until her mid-20s, when she developed schizophrenia, ultimately perishing when her mental hospital caught fire. Alas.


STEPIN FETCHITT | MEL WATKINS | VINTAGE | $15.95 | How Watkins thought to rescue Stepin Fetchitt, nee Lincoln Perry, from his terrible reputation is beyond me, but it sure pays off.

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