Fresh Fiction by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The New Yorker could not have predicted the scope of F. Scott Fitzgeralds’s posthumous popularity when they rejected his short story in 1936:
“We’re afraid that this Fitzgerald story is altogether out of the question. It seems to us so curious and so unlike the kind of thing we associate with him, and really too fantastic. We would give a lot, of course, to have a Scott Fitzgerald story and I hope that you will send us something that seems more suitable. Thank you, anyhow, for letting us see this.”
Lucky for them — and for us — they were recently given a second chance to print the never-before-seen piece. Fitzgerald’s grandchildren discovered the story nestled amongst his personal papers, and scholar James West sent it on their behalf to The New Yorker, where he knew it would not be rejected twice. Though short, it’s an insightful look into the smoking habits of a corset saleswoman in the 1930s. It concludes with a profound image of the main character smoking in a church.
Read “Thank You for the Light” here.
— Lucy Goss is an intern for Electric Literature. She majors in English at Cornell University. You can follow her here.