Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Woman Who Shocked America: Shirley Jackson

AbeBooks: The Woman Who Shocked America: Shirley Jackson: Born in 1916, Shirley Jackson shocked the literary world with her short story, The Lottery. Published in June 1948 in the The New Yorker, The Lottery is considered one of the most famous short stories in the history of American literature. (Spoiler alert - ending of short story is revealed below)

Shirley Jackson began her literary career early through her involvment with the Syracuse University campus literary magazine. It was there that she met her future husband, Stanley Edgar Hyman - a noted literary critic. The Hymans ultimately settled in Vermont while Stanley worked as a professor at Bennington College and Shirley focused on her writing. Jackson was quoted in Twentieth Century Authors (1954) as saying, "our major exports are books and children, both of which we produce in abundance". The Hymans had four children - all who figured prominently in many of Jackson's short stories. Life Among the Savages, a memoir written by Jackson in 1953, was described by her as, "a disrespectful memoir of my children". Friends of the family described them as "colorful, generous hosts" and both were avid readers with a library estimated to be over 100,000 books.

Much more at the link.

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