“You don’t write because you want to say something – you write because you have something to say.”
So declared F. Scott Fitzgerald, often regarded as one of the greatest American novelists of the 20th century.
But, when it came to his final few stories, he discovered that the people of the 1930s weren’t ready to listen to what he had to say.
Deemed too controversial – and, often, too scandalous – for public consumption, publishers of the era refused to have anything to do with the collection unless The Great Gatsby author edited them to suit their tastes.
But, “rather than permit changes and sanitising by his contemporary editors, Fitzgerald preferred to let his work remain unpublished, even at a time when he was in great need of money and review attention.”
Now, finally, the author’s unseen work will be released to his modern day fans.
Simon & Schuster imprint Scribner is due to publish Fitzgerald’s final completed collection of stories, titled I’d Die For You, in April 2017.
They promise that the bulk of the collection will feature tales “about controversial topics, depicting young men and women who actually spoke and thought more as young men and women did, without censorship”.
I’d Die For You, the title story of the collection, is “drawn from Fitzgerald’s stays in the mountains of North Carolina when his health, and that of his wife Zelda, was falling apart.
“With the addition of a Hollywood star and film crew to the Smoky Mountain lakes and pines, Fitzgerald brings in the cinematic world in which he would soon be living.”
This, of course, is in reference to the fact that Fitzgerald moved to Hollywood in 1937, armed with an MGM contract.
He tragically died from a heart attack just three years later: he was 44 years old.
Read more: 50 best books of the 1920s
The majority of the stories in the collection, all of which are said to have been penned in Fitzgerald’s “characteristically beautiful, sharp, and surprising language”, are set during the middle and late 1930s.
However I’d Die For You spans the entirety of the author’s writing career, taking us from 1920 right up until his death.
Scribner promises that it will give readers a “revealing, intimate look at Fitzgerald’s creative process that shows him to be a writer working at the fore of modern literature—in all its developing complexities.”
I’d Die For You will be released in April 2017. Visit simonandschuster.co.uk
Images: The Great Gatsby, Rex Pictures