Told through the tangled lives of four free-spirited but very different women in the same forward thinking, hard drinking New York literary circle, Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin is a brisk social history of 1920’s. There’s the surprisingly fragile Dorothy Parker, a scathingly clever but not especially insightful wit, and the sparkling but ultimately tragic Zelda Fitzgerald, whose talent for art and life is overshadowed by her more famous husband and her own eventual madness. Rounding out the group is Edna St. Vincent Millay, a self involved but obsessive and talented poet in spite of relentless health problems, and Edna Ferber, an independent loner by comparison with the other three and the author of highly successful novels and plays including Showboat, Giant, Cimarron and Ice Palace. Each year from 1920 to 1930 has its own chapter and the story weaves back and forth among the sometimes overlapping lives of the four women. Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin is lively and well told, and since it’s about four published authors it’s added a long list of books to my “want to read as soon as possible” list.