In some decidedly happier New Yorker news than what’s been circulating since the Jonah Lehrer fabrication scandal broke, this week’s issue includes a previously unpublished story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Titled “Thank You for the Light,” the short piece follows a traveling undergarment saleswoman who just wants to enjoy a cigarette, for heaven’s sake, without being scolded or judged, as smoking is one of the few pleasures left to her in this life. According to Jacket Copy, The New Yorker had rejected the story when Fitzgerald submitted it in 1936, at a time when his lifestyle was taking its toll on his literary career. The magazine’s decision at the time doesn’t seem indefensible: “Thank You for the Light” is clearly not the author’s best work — but, like the cigarettes it celebrates, it’s brief and energizing and an excellent excuse to take a five-minute break from work. Read it here.
Written by Judy Berman