Shirley Jackson

From Academic Kids

Shirley Jackson (December 14, 1919August 8, 1965) was an American author who wrote short stories and novels. Her most famous work is her short story The Lottery, which combines a bucolic, small-town America setting with a horrific shock ending. The tone of most of her works is odd and macabre, with an impending sense of doom, often framed by very ordinary settings and characters.

Born in San Francisco, she graduated with a BA from Syracuse University in 1940. While a student there, she met future husband Stanley Edgar Hyman, who was to become a noted literary critic. For Stanley J. Kunitz and Howard Harcraft's Twentieth Century Authors (1954), she wrote, "I very much dislike writing about myself or my work, and when pressed for autobiographical material can only give a bare chronological outline which contains, naturally, no pertinent facts. I was born in San Francisco in 1919 and spent most of my early life in California. I was married in 1940 to Stanley Edgar Hyman, critic and numismatist, and we live in Vermont, in a quiet rural community with fine scenery and comfortably far away from city life. Our major exports are books and children, both of which we produce in abundance. The children are Laurence, Joanne, Sarah and Barry: my books include three novels, The Road Through The Wall, Hangsaman, The Bird's Nest and a collection of short stories, The Lottery. Life Among the Savages is a disrespectful memoir of my children."

In addition to her novels, Jackson also wrote a children's novel, Nine Magic Wishes, available in an edition illustrated by her grandson, Miles Hyman. In her humorous memoirs, Raising Demons and Life Among the Savages, she wrote about her marriage and the experience of bringing up four children. After her death, her husband released her final unfinished novel, Come Along With Me, containing several chapters of her final work as well as several rare short stories (among them "Louisa, Please Come Home") and three speeches given by Jackson in her writing seminars.

In 1996, a crate of unpublished stories was found in the barn behind Jackson's house. The best of those stories, along with some retrieved from the pages of defunct magazines, were published in a collection titled Just an Ordinary Day. A large number of Miss Jackson's papers are available in the Library of Congress.

Missing image
HauntingHill.jpg
1962 paperback edition
Her novels include:

External links

The Haunted World of Shirley Jackson (http://www.tornadohills.com/shirley/)

"Shirley Jackson: House and Guardians," by Kyla Ward (http://www.tabula-rasa.info/DarkAges/ShirleyJackson.html)

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