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Critical Overview

(Short Stories for Students)

‘‘Winter Dreams,’’ first published in Metropolitan Magazine in 1922 and later collected in All The Sad Young Men in 1926, earned accolades for its thematic import and its style. Ruth Prigozy, in her article on Fitzgerald for the Dictionary of Literary Biography concludes, ‘‘The story is richly evocative, containing some of Fitzgerald 's best writing.’’ In an overview of ‘‘Winter Dreams,’’ Joseph Flibbert praises Fitzgerald's skillful structuring of the story to highlight its themes.

All The Sad Young Men became Fitzgerald's most popular collection of stories to date. In a review of the collection for Bookman, a reviewer concluded that the stories prove Fitzgerald to be ‘‘head and shoulders better than any writer of his generation.’’ Furthermore, the stories exhibit ‘‘compelling fineness, along with more conventional pieces of story telling that are sufficiently amusing with the old Fitzgerald talent.’’

Ironically, today Fitzgerald's works have become more popular than they were when they were published. None of his works became bestsellers in his lifetime and toward the end of his career, he was regarded as dated in his portraits of young men and women caught up in the Jazz Age. In the last few decades, however, he has come to be recognized as one of America's most important writers. Few freshman survey courses do not include a reading of The Great Gatsby, and ‘‘Winter Dreams’’ is now considered to be one of his finest short stories.