When Perry Parkhurst decides that his long-time engagement to Betty Medill has gone on long enough, he presents her with a marriage license and an ultimatum: get married immediately or end the relationship all-together. But things don’t go quite as well as Perry expected, and the two end up parting ways for good. Perry decides to drown his sorrows and soon ends up attending the same costume party as Betty, dressed in an elaborate camel costume.
“The Camel’s Back” was published in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1922 collection Tales of the Jazz Age, and, according to the author, was written so that he could earn enough money to buy a new diamond wristwatch.
F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1896, attended Princeton University, and published his first novel, This Side of Paradise, in 1920. That same year he married Zelda Sayre and the couple divided their time among New York, Paris, and the Riviera, becoming a part of the American expatriate circle that included Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, and John Dos Passos. Fitzgerald was a major new literary voice, and his masterpieces include The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby, and Tender Is the Night. He died of a heart attack in 1940 at the age of forty-four, while working on The Love of the Last Tycoon. For his sharp social insight and breathtaking lyricism, Fitzgerald is known as one of the most important American writers of the twentieth century.