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September 21, 2017


Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life

by N@ncy


Shirley Jackson (1916-1965)




  1. I’ve never read Shirley Jackson….now I have to.
  2. She wrote short stories and novels despite this endless torrent of
  3. criticism from her mother and the marriage from hell.


  1. Shirley Jackson suffered from mental issues
  2. …..yet was a voice of many women in the late 1940’s and 1950′ s.
  3. Jackson life was determined by
  4. her husband’s profession (literary professor at Bennington College)
  5. his income and his attitude towards  an open marriage.
  6. Writing deadlines, 4 children born between 1942 – 1951,
  7. a chaotic household and the need for a drink to take the edge off life.
  8. All these were  noticeable signs of trouble yet to come.


  1. She struggled with a weight problem,
  2. dependence on xenical diet pills
  3. …and a good bottle of bourbon and a filled ice bucket
  4. …were always close by.


  1. I have chosen her short story The Lottery and novel
  2. We Have Always Lived in the Castle as  my Jackson reads.
  3. The short story was her literary breakthrough (1948)
  4. …her last novel was the  masterpiece. (1962)
  5. “Jackson believed her role as a writer was to draw back the curtain
  6. …on the darkness within the human psyche.” ( pg 488)
  7. One of her biggest fans is Stephen King.
  8. I think that says enough.
  9. I read the last few chapters…very slowly.
  10. I did not want this book to end.
  11. It’s that good.
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