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May 24, 2010

On Shirley Jackson

I’ve not read anything by Shirley Jackson, but her book The Haunting of Hill House was on Sarah Waters’ Top Ten Ghost Stories. And now, my amazing new book club The Vicious Circle (and yes, if I wasn’t in this book club, I’d be jealous of anyone who was) will be reading her novel We Have Always Lived in the Castle. And since I read this article yesterday, I’ve been itching to read her short fiction. I may be the only person ever who hasn’t read “The Lottery”. Life Among the Savages might also be right up my alley. So I’ve just got this feeling that I’m on the cusp of something– all of these books to be read/loved before me. And my love of anticipation is as such that I’d sort of like to have them before me forever. The only thing I might love more than anticipation is a good book, however, so I’ll be picking up some Shirley Jackson sometime soon. I think I am going to ask for a gift certificate for Ten Editions Books for my birthday.

3 thoughts on “On Shirley Jackson”

  1. Mark says:

    The New Yorker’s excellent short story podcast series did a wonderful job on Jackson’s “The Lottery”. You can listen to it here:

    http://downloads.newyorker.com/mp3/fiction/081112_fiction_homes.mp3?_kip_ipx=1082075691-1274793137

    Mark

  2. patricia says:

    I’m so excited! And thrilled that others are excited about Shirley Jackson. I feel that I have discovered a true gem. And all because of a strange dream I had a few weeks ago! I really should blog about it…

    I’ve also been devouring her short stories. What a fascinating woman!

    Oh, and just in case you didn’t find this, Joyce Carol Oates on Shirley Jackson in The New York Review of Books:
    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2009/oct/08/the-witchcraft-of-shirley-jackson/

    And Joyce Carol Oates has also edited a new book of Shirley Jackson’s work, too!
    http://www.amazon.com/Shirley-Jackson-Stories-Library-America/dp/1598530720

    I can’t take all this excitement!!

  3. That’s my freshly favourite shop having had a particularly lovely expedition there a couple of weekends ago, not having been since the winter holidays. I like how it feels just messy enough to add another layer of desirability for your having unearthed your treasures, but actually it’s orderly enough to find at least a few things that were on your list (those which will keep company all the unexpectedly unearthed books that weren’t on your list but should have been because they were suddenly essential anyhow). I suspect you’ll know exactly what I mean.

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