Exposing the murderous cruelty of children, and the blindness and
selfishness of adults, Shirley Jackson reveals the ugly truth
behind a 'perfect' world.
Shirley Jackson was born in California in 1916. When her short story, 'The Lottery', was first published in the New Yorker in 1948, readers were so horrified they sent her hate mail; it has since become one of the most iconic American stories of all time. Her first novel, The Road Through the Wall, was published in the same year and was followed by Hangsaman, The Bird's Nest, The Sundial, The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, widely seen as her masterpiece. In addition to her dark, brilliant novels, she wrote lightly fictionalized magazine pieces about family life with her four children and her husband, the critic Stanley Edgar Hyman. Shirley Jackson died in 1965.
An unburnished exercise in the sinister * The New York Times *
Her books penetrate keenly to the terrible truths which sometimes hide behind comfortable fictions, to the treachery beneath cheery neighborhood faces and the plain manners of country folk; to the threat that sparkles at the rainbow's edge of the sprinkler spray on even the greenest lawns, on the sunniest of midsummer mornings -- Donna Tartt
Shirley Jackson is one of those highly idiosyncratic, inimitable writers ... whose work exerts an enduring spell -- Joyce Carol Oates