Daily Archives for: August 31st, 2017

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (1962)

We Have Always Lived in the Castle  (1962) was the last published work by Shirley Jackson during her lifetime.  The narrator, Mary Katherine “Merricat” Blackwood, lives with her sister and uncle on an isolated estate in rural Vermont.

The Blackwoods have been shunned by the neighbors in the nearby village due to a tragedy — possibly murder — that occurred some years earlier.

This critically acclaimed novel is considered one of Jackson’s masterpieces; and it has been an inspiration to authors that came after who write in the thriller and mystery genres. Read More→


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Raising Demons by Shirley Jackson (1957)

Raising Demons by Shirley Jackson is a 1957 memoir of motherhood and domestic tribulations. Wry and humorous, it serves up an idealized version of this author’s family’s life in Vermont, and is a departure from her fictional tales of psychological terror — notably, The Lottery (1949).

How much of the depiction of this family’s life reflects reality is an open question. Jackson’s husband, Stanley Edgar Hyman, a literary critic and professor, was chronically unfaithful, controlling, and belittling.  Read More→


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