ISBN 9780241387801 – Penguin – Penguin UK Paperback 256 pp – August 2019
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.
From the queen of domestic horror, this is a masterpiece of domestic comedy.
Shirley Jackson’s 1953 classic about life with her husband and four children in rural Vermont is one of America’s most celebrated memoirs of family life. Facing badly behaved imaginary friends, intractable bank managers, an oblivious husband and ever-encroaching domestic chaos, Jackson might want to throw her hands up in despair but somehow manages to turn ordinary family experiences into brilliant adventures. Frequently hilarious, always warm and never sentimental, this is a book for anyone who has ever been in a family.