This newly discovered short story by one of the greatest writers of twentieth-century American literature, F. Scott Fitzgerald, will surprise and delight. Thank You for the Light is a masterfully crafted story—spare, strange, and wonderful, albeit a departure from Fitzgerald’s usual style.
A widowed, corset saleswoman, Mrs. Hanson, whose chief pleasure in life is cigarettes, discovers that social disapproval of smoking is widespread in her new sales territory. Deprived of this simple comfort, she receives solace, and a light, from an unexpected source.
Fitzgerald originally submitted the story to The New Yorker in 1936, four years before his death, but it was rejected. The editors said that it was “altogether out of the question” and added, “It seems to us so curious and so unlike the kind of thing we associate with him and really too fantastic.” Almost eighty years later, Fitzgerald’s grandchildren found the story among his papers and the Fitzgerald scholar James West encouraged them to send the story to the magazine once again. This time around the magazine decided to publish it, and now it is available in this special eBook edition.
F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1896, attended Princeton University, and published his first novel, This Side of Paradise, in 1920. That same year he married Zelda Sayre and the couple divided their time among New York, Paris, and the Riviera, becoming a part of the American expatriate circle that included Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, and John Dos Passos. Fitzgerald was a major new literary voice, and his masterpieces include The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby, and Tender Is the Night. He died of a heart attack in 1940 at the age of forty-four, while working on The Love of the Last Tycoon. For his sharp social insight and breathtaking lyricism, Fitzgerald is known as one of the most important American writers of the twentieth century.
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