"All crowds have to howl."
Although F.Scott Fitzgerald is known for the kind of subtle, polished social commentary found in his masterpiece The Great Gatsby, his little-known novella May Day is unique in that it is the most raw, directly political commentary he ever wrote, and one of the most desperate works in his oeuvre.
It is a tale of the brutalities of the American class system-of privileged college boys, returned from a bloody war, and a group of intellectual left-wing journalists, all coming into confrontation in the heart of New York City on Mayday at the end of World War I. Fitzgerald's fine eye for detail is on special display and his relentless plot leads to one of his most shocking climaxes, in what is the first and only stand alone version of this rarity.
The Art of The Novella Series
Too short to be a novel, too long to be a short story, the novella is generally unrecognized by academics and publishers. Nonetheless, it is a form beloved and practiced by literature's greatest writers. In the Art Of The Novella series, Melville House celebrates this renegade art form and its practitioners with titles that are, in many instances, presented in book form for the first time.
About the Author
Francis Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1896, the son of a salesman, and namesake of his distant relative, Francis Scott Key. While attending Princeton University, he wrote a novel that a Scribner’s editor thought good enough to publish, if Fitzgerald would revise it. Fitzgerald, however, was in academic trouble and left school to join the army. Stationed in Alabama, he met and proposed marriage to Zelda Sayre, who refused to marry him until his rewritten novel, This Side of Paradise, made him an irresistible success. Two years later, the Fitzgeralds were leading a furious, booze-fueled social life, and his story collection of 1922, Tales of the Jazz Age, gave the era its name. In 1925, while sojourning in France—where he befriended Ernest Hemingway—he wrote The Great Gatsby. But his relationship with Zelda grew destructive, and by 1932 she was in a mental institution and he had descended into alcoholism. Fitzgerald moved to Hollywood to work as a scriptwriter, and died there of a heart attack in 1940.
Praise for May Day…
"I wanted them all, even those I'd already read."
—Ron Rosenbaum, The New York Observer
—Time Out London
"[F]irst-rate…astutely selected and attractively packaged…indisputably great works."
—Adam Begley, The New York Observer
"I’ve always been haunted by Bartleby, the proto-slacker. But it’s the handsomely minimalist cover of the Melville House edition that gets me here, one of many in the small publisher’s fine 'Art of the Novella' series."
—The New Yorker
"The Art of the Novella series is sort of an anti-Kindle. What these singular, distinctive titles celebrate is book-ness. They're slim enough to be portable but showy enough to be conspicuously consumed—tiny little objects that demand to be loved for the commodities they are."
—KQED (NPR San Francisco)
"Some like it short, and if you're one of them, Melville House, an independent publisher based in Brooklyn, has a line of books for you... elegant-looking paperback editions ...a good read in a small package."
—The Wall Street Journal