Back in the mid-to-late 1930s, F. Scott Fitzgerald was running low on cash and positive publicity. He might have solved both problems if he'd released a collection of stories he had ready to go at the time.
But he didn't and the compilation sat on the shelf for nearly 80 years, long after his death in 1940. Why?
According to Simon & Schuster imprint Scribner, who will finally publish Fitzgerald's final works in April 2017 under the title I'd Die For You, he preferred to wait until the world was ready for them.
As the publisher explained on its website, the stories broached "controversial topics, depicting young men and women who actually spoke and thought more as young men and women did, without censorship. Rather than permit changes and sanitizing by his contemporary editors, Fitzgerald preferred to let his work remain unpublished."
The collection's publication comes after the 2015 discovery and publication of Fitzgerald's short story Temperature at Princeton University, his alma mater. The story of a once-famous novelist trying — mostly without success — to reinvent himself as a Hollywood screenwriter was drawn heavily from his own life.
The title I'd Die For You refers to Fitzgerald's time in North Carolina, where the novelist was drinking himself to death in the mid-'30s as his wife Zelda languished in an Asheville mental hospital. He was gone by 1940, when he died of a heart attack at age 44.
Anne Margaret Daniel is editing the collection. Scribner promises I Would Die For You will “provide new insight into the bold and uncompromising arc of Fitzgerald’s career.”