At the New York Review of Books, Joyce Carol Oates writes about Shirley Jackson through her seminal story “The Lottery,” her contemporaneous public perception via hate mail, the figure of her presented in literary biographies, the self she expressed in essays and works of memoir, her marriage made in hell, her abuse of powerful psychotropic drugs—amounting to a wonderfully haunting literary presence in the American Canon....more
Posts Tagged: Shirley Jackson
With so many Americans tuning in and cringing at the deluge of election controversies, we can take a little comfort that there are incredibly apt pieces of fiction to turn to for some perspective. At the Huffington Post, Claire Fallon looks at the renewed fame and interest in Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” during these troubled times, and shares snippets of a new graphic-novel adaptation....more
Although best known for “The Lottery”, there was much more to Shirley Jackson’s work—and life. At the New York Times, Charles McGrath reviews of Ruth Franklin’s new biography A Rather Haunted Life, and explores Franklin’s journalistic yet personal take on the woman who remains massively influential, but often overlooked in the American literary canon....more
Vivid, shiver-inducing, short story excerpts stud “The Summer People of Shirley Jackson and Kelly Link” over at Longreads. On conjuring a story with the same title as Jackson’s original, iconic, and creepy “The Summer People,” Kelly Link says, “I liked the idea of writing a story where all the play between Jackson’s story and mine would come from the reader, rather than from me.”...more
This week, two underappreciated masters of the weird and uncanny are finally getting their due attention. That’s right, we’re talking about Clarice Lispector and Shirley Jackson, two literary powerhouses who wrote contemporaneously in different styles, different languages, even different hemispheres, but who have some striking similarities....more
Welcoming Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings, a new collection of Shirley Jackson’s writings out today from Random House, the New Yorker offers a three-installment series of lectures on writing by the seminal author excerpted from the book: “Memory and Delusion,” “On Fans and Fan Mail,” and “Garlic in Fiction....more
What do Yukio Mishima, Tana French, Shirley Jackson, and John Steinbeck have in common?
They’re the masterminds behind a couple of the most evil fictional youngsters of all time, according to a list compiled by British bookstore Abebooks. The list shuns contemporary malevolent characters in favor of the “utterly evil” children of yore, reasoning: “While Draco, Augustus, Violet and Veruca may be distasteful, they are actually quite mild-mannered compared to some of the horrible children literature has to offer.”...more
Shirley Jackson’s bone-chilling story “The Lottery” is probably the last thing anyone wants to associate with Mother’s Day, yet her lurking plot twists and sharp character insights are the perfect tools to write about parenting. In this month’s Slate Book Review, Dan Kois explains how Jackson’s books depicted family life well before any of us knew what to expect when expecting:
Airy unconcern about the state of one’s home, marriage, or children, masking a deeper unspoken acknowledgment that all will forever exist in a state of chaos?
It’s only February, but 2015 is already proving to be a treasure trove of big happenings in the world of short stories. Take this past Tuesday, when Kelly Link, Charles Baxter, and Neil Gaiman all released new collections, undoubtedly making the world a few orders of magnitude weirder, smarter, and spookier....more
In the latest “The Last Book I Loved,” S. Hope Mills tackles the thriller-esque 1959 novel, The Haunting of Hill House. Shirley Jackson’s talents are strong enough to spook even the avowedly un-spookable—that woman, Mills admits, “knew what it meant to be haunted.”
And Heather Partington reviews Maude Casey’s novel inspired by the true story of a 19th century man “afflicted by ‘traveling fuge,’ or dromomania.” The Man Who Walked Away is a careful analysis of the connection between language and memory, filtered through the lens of a truly unique doctor-patient relationship....more
No, really, here’s a fun little quiz from Bookish on trivia about classic short stories.
How much do you remember about the tiny details from classic short stories like Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” or John Cheever’s “The Swimmer”?...more
Regardless of your level of enamoration with indie-rock mainstays the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, if you’re a Rumpus reader, you’ll probably dig the video for their new single “Sacrilege.”
It unfolds like a short story, with a perfectly deployed reverse timeline and undertones of dark classics like Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.”
Watch it—watch it twice!...more
Since its publication in 1948, “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson has become an American classic, appearing in high school classrooms, as well as in the hands and on the computers of people around the nation.
On the 65th anniversary of the publication of “The Lottery,” Ruth Franklin at the New Yorker discusses the 300+ letters, most of them negative, that came pouring in—“the most mail [the New Yorker] had ever received in response to a work of fiction.”
Franklin details some of the angry and bewildered responses from readers, including some amongst the New Yorker’s staff....more
“Shirley and Stanley lived with their children and 30,000 books in a rambling Victorian house near the post office in the village where Shirley had so memorably set her classic 1948 short story, ‘The Lottery.’
“Shirley did the family driving, the shopping, the cooking, the cleaning, the childcare and the creative writing....more
It’s your humble Sunday guest editor back in the hot seat again for another wild ride through the bookblogosphere!
Today is special to me because the Folsom Fair will be happening which, if you’ve never been, is one of the most flagrant and life-affirming displays of leather, fetish and all around perversity to ever take place in the naked light of day....more