A collection of stories must be strategically designed to avoid awkward changes of tone, mood, subject matter and style. The circumstances that inspired the volume are appropriately bizarre. Joyce Carol Oates Shirley Jackson s stories are among the most terrifying ever written. Here are tales of torment, psychological aberration, and the macabre, as well as those that display her lighter touch with humorous scenes of domestic life. They provide an exciting overview of the evolution of her craft through a progression of forms and styles, and add significantly to the body of her published work.
Lovecraft's ''Rats in the Walls,'' ''The Lottery'' yields a singular, unforgettable nightmare image. Among the collection's better stories is ''The Honeymoon of Mrs. Obviously, this was a treasure trove for the Jackson heirs and for specialists in her work. When I meet readers and other writers of my generation, I find that mentioning her is like uttering a holy name. When I meet readers and other writers of my generation, I find that mentioning her is like uttering a holy name. The devil, who can't seem to get an even break, makes several appearances. Homes Jackson enjoyed notoriety and commercial success within her lifetime, and yet it still hardly seems like enough for a writer so singular.
Other pieces, culled from family collections, and from archives and papers at the San Francisco Public Library and the Library of Congress, appeared in print only once, in various magazines. In ''The Possibility of Evil,'' a malicious old woman writes anonymous hate letters to neighbors. She is the author of six novels, including The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle; four collections of short stories and essays, including Let Me Tell You; and two family memoirs, Life Among the Savages and Raising Demons. Soon after her untimely death in 1965, Jackson s children discovered a treasure trove of previously unpublished and uncollected stories, many of which are brought together in this remarkable collection. Just an Ordinary Day is a testament to how large a talent Shirley Jackson had and to the depth, breadth, and complexity of her writing.
Many of the manuscripts were carbons, and many contained handwritten notes; there were early drafts of published work, multiple versions of the same stories with differing endings and new stories containing familiar characters. Francine Prose The world of Shirley Jackson is eerie and unforgettable. Francine Prose The world of Shirley Jackson is eerie and unforgettable. Description: xiv, 431 pages ; 21 cm Contents: The smoking room -- I don't kiss strangers -- Summer afternoon -- Indians live in tents -- The very hot sun in Bermuda -- Nightmare -- Dinner for a gentleman -- Party of boys -- Jack the ripper -- The honeymoon of Mrs. One need not be a fellow writer, however, to feel a frisson of dismay upon reading this unwittingly ominous remark in the preface: ''The stories we include here are not all charismatic heart-stoppers on the level of 'The Lottery.
In fact, the story of the collection's genesis suggests one of Jackson's more magical fantasies: the book was assembled from scattered or long-lost manuscripts in the Jackson archives at the San Francisco Public Library and in the Library of Congress, as well as from the contents of a cobwebbed carton discovered in a Vermont barn more than a quarter-century after Jackson's death. Jackson's ''feel-good'' romances for the women's markets should have been mercifully allowed to molder away; if she had wanted to reprint them, she would have done so herself. Instead we have the confusing hodgepodge of ''Just an Ordinary Day'' -- a missed opportunity, a lottery with no winners. Soon after her untimely death in 1965, Jackson's children discovered a treasure trove of previously unpublished and uncollected stories, many of which are brought together in this remarkable collection. Stories that appeared in The New Yorker in the early 1940's and in Fantasy and Science Fiction in the 1950's are slightly more substantial, but only slightly.
When I meet readers and other writers of my generation, I find that mentioning her is like uttering a holy name. More urgently, is there any justification, apart from scholarly publications of classic writers equipped with annotations and footnotes, for bringing into print inferior material the writer might have opposed publishing? Each of Jackson's ghost stories-often centered around a child, missing or dead-is beautifully anchored in and thoroughly shaped by a particular point of view. Smith'' in two drafts, one incomplete , a fabulist revision of the Bluebeard legend in which the murderer's seventh wife is maddeningly complicit with her potential killer. And in the brilliantly bizarre selection ''The Story We Used to Tell,'' two young women are trapped inside an old picture on a wall. Melville makes a purchase -- Journey with a lady -- The most wonderful thing -- The friends -- Alone in a den of cubs -- The order of Charlotte's going -- One ordinary day, with peanuts -- The missing girl -- The omen -- The very strange house next door -- A great voice stilled -- All she said was yes -- Home -- I. Is there a moral as well as a professional responsibility involved in bringing together disparate work by a writer no longer living, in creating a book that will bear the writer's name, even though she had no hand in assembling it? At the outset, ''Just an Ordinary Day'' might have seemed like an exciting publishing venture. Sarah Hyman DeWitt is the third child of Shirley Jackson and Stanley Edgar Hyman.
Like such American Gothic classics as ''The Yellow Wallpaper,'' by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and H. They are tucked between tales of murder and trickery, among ghostly rambles and poetic fables, between hugely funny family chronicles and dark tales of perfect, unexpected justice. Here are tales of torment, psychological aberration, and the macabre, as well as those that display her lighter touch with humorous scenes of domestic life. When I meet readers and other writers of my generation, I find that mentioning her is like uttering a holy name. When I meet readers and other writers of my generation, I find that mentioning her is like uttering a holy name. And the effect of ''tucking'' these weak stories amid those of more consequence is detrimental to the reading experience, which requires a judicious shaping of material.
Joyce Carol Oates Shirley Jackson s stories are among the most terrifying ever written. The stories in this edition represent the great diversity of her work, from humor to her shocking explorations of the human psyche. These stories explore themes of isolation, psychological distress and the malevolence of fate the sort of themes that are characteristic of Jackson's better-known work , and they make for fascinating reading. One of Jackson's themes is the psychic dislocation of lonely, sensitive, frequently clairvoyant girls and women. Text: Shirley Jackson 1919-65 is the author of one of the most frequently reprinted tales of dark fantasy in American literature. A few pieces that qualify as humorous takes on the predicaments of modern life add a relaxed, biographical element to a virtuoso collection. She died on August 8, 1965.
At the time of her death, at the age of 48, Shirley Jackson was the author of 12 books, among them the Gothic novels ''The Haunting of Hill House'' and ''We Have Always Lived in the Castle,'' the short-story collection ''The Lottery'' and the humorous semi-autobiographical works ''Life Among the Savages'' and ''Raising Demons. The tales range, chronologically, from the writings of her college days and residence in Greenwich Village in the early 1940s, to the unforgettably chilling stories from the period just before her death. Laurence Jackson Hyman, the eldest child of Shirley Jackson and Stanley Edgar Hyman, is the author, editor, or co-editor of dozens of books and monographs. Dorothy Parker An author who not only writes beautifully but who knows what there is, in this world, to be scared of. It is a measure of Shirley Jackson's sardonic perspective that their annual victim is simply one of them -- not a redeemer or an innocent or even a nonconformist. The stories are diverse: there are tales that pillory smug, self-satisfied, small-town ladies; chilling and murderous chronicles of marriage; witty romantic comedies; and tales that reveal an eerie juxtaposition of good and evil.