"May Day" drew upon Fitzgerald's feelings of failure during the spring of 1919 when he was working for a New York advertising agency. He provided this comment when the story was collected in Tales of the Jazz Age (1922):
"This somewhat unpleasant tale, published as a novelette in the "Smart Set" in July, 1920, relates a series of events which took place in the spring of the previous year. Each of the three events made a great impression upon me. In life they were unrelated, except by the general hysteria of that spring which inaugurated the Age of Jazz, but in my story I have tried, unsuccessfully I fear, to weave them into a pattern---a pattern which would give the effect of those months in New York as they appeared to at least one member of what was then the younger generation."
This page updated 6 September 1996.
Copyright 1996, the Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina.