F. Scott Fitzgerald's second collection of short stories contains some of his best-known tales of the glittering era he gave a name to.
Published in 1922, Tales of the Jazz Age featured not only the flappers and lost young men Fitzgerald had made his name with, but a greater variety of characters and scenes. The critically admired novella "May Day" contrasts its drunken debutantes with a mob of war veterans battling socialists in the streets. Here, too, are several imaginative stories that Fitzgerald described as "fantasies," including "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," about a man who ages in reverse, and "A Diamond as Big as the Ritz," a surreal fable about the excesses of greed. Tales of the Jazz Age not only furthered Fitzgerald's reputation as a master storyteller but cemented his place as the spokesman of an age.
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born in 1896 in St. Paul, Minnesota. He attended Princeton University, where he began writing what would become his first novel, This Side of Paradise. He left Princeton to join the army during World War I, though the war ended shortly after his enlistment. This Side of Paradise, published in 1920, was a critical and financial success and was followed the same year by his first story collection, Flappers and Philosophers, followed by Tales of the Jazz Age in 1922. Fitzgerald went on to publish three more novels—The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby, and Tender Is the Night—and many more stories. He died in 1940, leaving his last novel, The Love of the Last Tycoon, unfinished.