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“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” is one of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most memorable short stories. The protagonist, Benjamin Button, is born an old man and ages in reverse until he becomes a baby and then finally vanishes from the earth. In a short introduction to the story, Fitzgerald wrote: “This story was inspired by a remark of Mark Twain’s to the effect that it was a pity that the best part of life came at the beginning and the worst part at the end. By trying the experiment upon only one man in a perfectly normal world I have scarcely given his idea a fair trial. Several weeks after completing it, I discovered an almost identical plot in Samuel Butler’s ‘Note-books.'” The title story was the inspiration for the MAJOR MOTION PICTURE of the same name and remains one of Fitzgerald’s most haunting and beautiful tales.
Fitzgerald’s talent for short fiction is on display in this selection of four of his finest tales, chosen from two collections: Flappers and Philosophers (1920) and Tales of the Jazz Age (1922). In addition to the title story are “Bernice Bobs Her Hair,” a coming-of-age story about a daring young flapper; “The Jelly-Bean,” a story of disillusionment and love lost; and “Dalyrimple Goes Wrong,” a case of a character torn between self and society.