Stuck-in-a-Book’s Weekend Miscellany: Shirley Jackson Special!

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend so far – I’m going to be seeing Felicity Kendal in Alan Ayckbourn’s Relatively Speaking tonight, which is pretty exciting (although I did start reading a book by him yesterday that gave away the plot, ooops…)  Entirely unrelated to that, this week’s book, blog post, and link come with a Shirley Jackson theme!

1.) The book – it was via Claire/Paperback Reader’s Facebook page that I discovered the obscure Shirley Jackson novels I’d hankered after were – gasp – soon to be reprinted by Penguin!  So, Hangsaman, The Sundial, and The Road Through The Wall will all come out over the next few months.  I’m starting to wish I hadn’t spent a pretty penny on The Sundial, especially since I still haven’t read it…

2.) The link – the New Yorker had a great interview with Shirley Jackson’s son last month…

3.) The blog post – hunting around for a recent Shirley Jackson post, I stumbled on a great review (and discussion in the comments section) of We Have Always Lived in the Castle, over at Estella’s Revenge.

Have you read any/much/all of Shirley Jackson?  Let me know your favourites, or you want to read next….

14 thoughts on “Stuck-in-a-Book’s Weekend Miscellany: Shirley Jackson Special!

  • August 17, 2013 at 9:24 am
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    Up until quite recently, the only thing I'd read was 'The Lottery' – which seems like nearly mandatory reading in every American school. But earlier this year, my book group read 'We Have Always Lived in the Castle' which was fantastic. Perfectly strange and quirky and Jacksonish. Thanks for letting me know about the upcoming reprints!

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    • August 18, 2013 at 10:23 pm
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      It does seem that every American read The Lottery at school, while it is still almost unknown here, I find! We Have Always was my first experience with Shirley Jackson, courtesy of Lisa at Bluestalking Reader, and it set me off on a happy journey!

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  • August 17, 2013 at 11:49 am
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    A local bookstore had Lottery Day yesterday. If you drew the black dot, your purchases were free – or so they said! Sadly, I had to work & couldn't get there in time.

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    • August 18, 2013 at 10:23 pm
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      What a brilliant gimmick, albeit tied to rather a terrifying scenario!

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  • August 17, 2013 at 7:03 pm
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    Hurray! Thanks Simon – I didn't know they were reprinting those Shirley Jacksons! I have read almost everything else she has written including her short stories which are so eerie and strange, and The Haunting of Hill House is definitely one of the scarier novels I have read, but could never justify the price for some of these more hard to find novels. Thank you – you have made my weekend :) Brenda

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    • August 18, 2013 at 10:23 pm
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      Happy news, isn't it! I was thrilled, and had to spread the joy :)

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  • August 17, 2013 at 9:04 pm
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    I want to read Hangsaman next! I found it at a bookstore not knowing that it had been reprinted, and I shrieked like a crazy person. I've been saving it since I'm so very very excited to read it, and I'm trying not to get my expectations too high. The Bird's Nest disappointed me, and I don't want Hangsaman to do the same.

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    • August 18, 2013 at 10:24 pm
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      Haha! Brilliant, Jenny! I love the idea of you shrieking when you saw it – I've definitely had book moments like that.

      I thought The Bird's Nest was brilliantly ahead of its time in some ways, but not the best narrative…

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    • September 24, 2014 at 4:21 am
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      Hmmm. Jenny, I'd say Hangsman and Bird's Nest are rather similar in many ways, but I won't give any spoilers. For what it's worth, I really preferred Hangsaman; it was hard getting into it at first, now I simply love it. Give it a chance and stay with it. It's definitely not what you'd think from the various dust jacket blurbs!

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  • August 18, 2013 at 12:26 am
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    Interesting to know Jackson is being reprinted. I saw the interview in New Yorker last month. It was very interesting. She was a very interesting writer.

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  • August 18, 2013 at 1:39 pm
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    I read The Haunting of Hill House when I was a teenager and loved it. It's still one of my favorite books (and the movie version, the one with Julie Harris). I read her 'family' books, Life Among the Savages, etc., and laughed aloud, even when I read them more recently. I think she's an overlooked and versatile writer. Her life was pretty interesting, too.

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    • August 18, 2013 at 10:25 pm
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      I haven't been brave enough to watch the film (or the remake) because I can cope with a bit of gothic horror on the page, but not on the screen. I do love her creepy books, but my real joy is reserved for her family books – utterly sublime, and the ones I will return to time and again.

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  • August 19, 2013 at 1:44 am
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    My favorite is We Have Always Lived in the Castle followed closely by The Haunting. The Lottery is also a great short story! I think pretty much anything by her is good! Thanks for the heads up on the reprints–I'll be on the lookout for them!

    Reply

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