Before Gatsby: The First Twenty-six Stories

Front Cover
University of South Carolina Press, 2001 - Fiction - 550 pages
7 Reviews
FOR THE FIRST TIME, all the commercially published short stories F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote before and during his work on what would become his great American novel, The Great Gatsby, have been collected in one volume. Published between 1919 and 1923, these twenty-six stories - most of which appeared in the Saturday Evening Post and in two Fitzgerald volumes, Flappers and Philosophers and Tales of the Jazz Age - document the striking development of Fitzgerald's professionalism and short-story craftsmanship during his twenties. Edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli, the foremost expert on Fitzgerald, the annotated and generously illustrated collection reproduces magazine artwork, manuscripts, advertisements, and photographs that provide a rich contextual backdrop for understanding the ways American life shaped Fitzgerald's fiction.

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Review: Before Gatsby: The First Twenty-Six Stories

User Review  - Richard Rydell - Goodreads

This should be recommended reading along with the Great Gatsby. It is worth it just for the intro and background on Fitzgerald to peak your interest and look at the man, his career, and get a feeling ... Read full review

Review: Before Gatsby: The First Twenty-Six Stories

User Review  - Rhonda - Goodreads

Not everything Fitzgerald wrote was genius. Like most good writers, he honed his craft over time and made a living hacking out short stories for magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post. But a few ... Read full review

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About the author (2001)

F(rancis) Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 24, 1896. He was educated at Princeton University and served in the U.S. Army from 1917 to 1919, attaining the rank of second lieutenant. In 1920 Fitzgerald married Zelda Sayre, a young woman of the upper class, and they had a daughter, Frances. Fitzgerald is regarded as one of the finest American writers of the 20th Century. His most notable work was the novel, The Great Gatsby (1925). The novel focused on the themes of the Roaring Twenties and of the loss of innocence and ethics among the nouveau riche. He also made many contributions to American literature in the form of short stories, plays, poetry, music, and letters. Ernest Hemingway, who was greatly influenced by Fitzgerald's short stories, wrote that Fitzgerald's talent was "as fine as the dust on a butterfly's wing." Yet during his lifetime Fitzgerald never had a bestselling novel and, toward the end of his life, he worked sporadically as a screenwriter at motion picture studios in Los Angeles. There he contributed to scripts for such popular films as Winter Carnival and Gone with the Wind. Fitzgerald's work is inseparable from the Roaring 20s. Berenice Bobs Her Hair and A Diamond As Big As The Ritz, are two short stories included in his collections, Tales of the Jazz Age and Flappers and Philosophers. His first novel The Beautiful and Damned was flawed but set up Fitzgerald's major themes of the fleeting nature of youthfulness and innocence, unattainable love, and middle-class aspiration for wealth and respectability, derived from his own courtship of Zelda. This Side of Paradise (1920) was Fitzgerald's first unqualified success. Tender Is the Night, a mature look at the excesses of the exuberant 20s, was published in 1934. Much of Fitzgerald's work has been adapted for film, including Tender is the Night , The Great Gatsby, and Babylon Revisited which was adapted as The Last Time I Saw Paris by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1954. The Last Tycoon, adapted by Paramount in 1976, was a work in progress when Fitzgerald died of a heart attack on December 21, 1940, in Hollywood, California. Fitzgerald is buried in St. Mary's Cemetery in Rockville, Maryland.

Matthew J. Bruccoli, Emily Brown Jefferies Professor of English at the University of South Carolina, is the leading authority on F. Scott Fitzgerald and the authors of the House of Scribner.

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