The final novel from one of the twentieth century’s greatest writers. Most of the Blackwoods are dead. They were poisoned by arsenic, and the suspected murderer – Constance Blackwood – still lives in their family estate. In fact, she never leaves. Nor does her Uncle Julian, who is confined to a wheelchair. The only person to leave the house is her sister, the third remaining Blackwood, Merricat, and even she keeps her visits to town to a minimum. The townsfolk don’t like the Blackwoods; understandable, when one of them could be a mass murderer. Constance, Merricat, and Julian maintain a semblance of a normal, if highly reclusive, life, aided – if Merricat is to be believed – by several magical wards and charm. But when one of these charms is disrupted, her estranged cousin Charles turns up for a visit, and threatens to throw the Blackwoods’ fragile peace into chaos. Penguin Random House Canada is proud to bring you classic works of literature in e-book form, with the highest quality production values. Find more today and rediscover books you never knew you loved.
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Shirley Jackson's masterpiece: the deliciously dark and funny story of Merricat, tomboy teenager, beloved sister - and possible lunatic. 'Her greatest book ... at once whimsical and harrowing, a miniaturist's charmingly detailed fantasy sketched inside a mausoleum ... Through depths and depths and bloodwarm depths we fall, until the surface is only an eerie gleam high above, nearly forgotten; and the deeper we sink, the deeper we want to go' Donna Tartt, author of The Goldfinch Living in the Blackwood family home with only her sister Constance and her Uncle Julian for company, Merricat just wants to preserve their delicate way of life. But ever since Constance was acquitted of murdering the rest of the family, the world isn't leaving the Blackwoods alone. And when Cousin Charles arrives, armed with overtures of friendship and a desperate need to get into the safe, Merricat must do everything in her power to protect the remaining family. This Penguin edition includes an afterword by the acclaimed novelist Joyce Carol Oates. All Shirley Jackson's other novels, plus The Lottery and Other Stories, are available in Penguin Modern Classics. Shirley Jackson was born in California in 1916. When her short story The Lotterywas 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 five more: 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 her sleep in 1965 at the age of 48. 'The world of Shirley Jackson is eerie and unforgettable ... She is a true master' A. M. Homes 'A masterpiece of Gothic suspense' Joyce Carol Oates 'If you haven't read We Have Always Lived in the Castle ... you have missed out on something marvellous' Neil Gaiman
Winner • National Book Critics Circle Award (Biography) Winner • Edgar Award (Critical/Biographical) Winner • Bram Stoker Award (Nonfiction) A New York Times Notable Book A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Pick of the Year Named one of the Best Books of the Year by Entertainment Weekly, NPR, TIME, Boston Globe, NYLON, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, Kirkus Reviews, and Booklist In this “thoughtful and persuasive” biography, award-winning biographer Ruth Franklin establishes Shirley Jackson as a “serious and accomplished literary artist” (Charles McGrath, New York Times Book Review). Instantly heralded for its “masterful” and “thrilling” portrayal (Boston Globe), Shirley Jackson reveals the tumultuous life and inner darkness of the literary genius behind such classics as “The Lottery” and The Haunting of Hill House. In this “remarkable act of reclamation” (Neil Gaiman), Ruth Franklin envisions Jackson as “belonging to the great tradition of Hawthorne, Poe and James” (New York Times Book Review) and demonstrates how her unique contribution to the canon “so uncannily channeled women’s nightmares and contradictions that it is ‘nothing less than the secret history of American women of her era’ ” (Washington Post). Franklin investigates the “interplay between the life, the work, and the times with real skill and insight, making this fine book a real contribution not only to biography, but to mid-20th-century women’s history” (Chicago Tribune). “Wisely rescu[ing] Shirley Jackson from any semblance of obscurity” (Lena Dunham), Franklin’s invigorating portrait stands as the definitive biography of a generational avatar and an American literary genius.
This rich and varied collection of essays makes a timely contribution to critical debates about the Female Gothic, a popular but contested area of literary studies. The contributors revisit key Gothic themes - gender, race, the body, monstrosity, metaphor, motherhood and nationality - to open up new critical directions.
A bewitchingly brilliant collection of never-before-published letters from the renowned author of “The Lottery” and The Haunting of Hill House NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWS • “This biography-through-letters gives an intimate and warm voice to the imagination behind the treasury of uncanny tales that is Shirley Jackson’s legacy.”—Joyce Carol Oates Shirley Jackson is one of the most important American authors of the last hundred years and among our greatest chroniclers of the female experience. This extraordinary compilation of personal correspondence has all the hallmarks of Jackson’s beloved fiction: flashes of the uncanny in the domestic, sparks of horror in the quotidian, and the veins of humor that run through good times and bad. i am having a fine time doing a novel with my left hand and a long story—with as many levels as grand central station—with my right hand, stirring chocolate pudding with a spoon held in my teeth, and tuning the television with both feet. Written over the course of nearly three decades, from Jackson’s college years to six days before her early death at the age of forty-eight, these letters become the autobiography Shirley Jackson never wrote. As well as being a bestselling author, Jackson spent much of her adult life as a mother of four in Vermont, and the landscape here is often the everyday: raucous holidays and trips to the dentist, overdue taxes and frayed lines of Christmas lights, new dogs and new babies. But in recounting these events to family, friends, and colleagues, she turns them into remarkable stories: entertaining, revealing, and wise. At the same time, many of these letters provide fresh insight into the genesis and progress of Jackson’s writing over nearly three decades. The novel is getting sadder. It’s always such a strange feeling—I know something’s going to happen, and those poor people in the book don’t; they just go blithely on their ways. Compiled and edited by her elder son, Laurence Jackson Hyman, in consultation with Jackson scholar Bernice M. Murphy and featuring Jackson’s own witty line drawings, this intimate collection holds the beguiling prism of Shirley Jackson—writer and reader, mother and daughter, neighbor and wife—up to the light.
An anthology of writings by the leading mid-20th-century classic author, compiled by the National Book Award-winning author of Them, includes The Lottery, The Haunting of Hill House, We Have Always Lived in the Castle and 21 short pieces that reflect Jackson's work in other genres.
For the first time in one volume, a collection of Shirley Jackson’s scariest stories, with a foreword by PEN/Hemingway Award winner Ottessa Moshfegh After the publication of her short story “The Lottery” in the New Yorker in 1948 received an unprecedented amount of attention, Shirley Jackson was quickly established as a master horror storyteller. This collection of classic and newly reprinted stories provides readers with more of her unsettling, dark tales, including the “The Possibility of Evil” and “The Summer People.” In these deliciously dark stories, the daily commute turns into a nightmarish game of hide and seek, the loving wife hides homicidal thoughts and the concerned citizen might just be an infamous serial killer. In the haunting world of Shirley Jackson, nothing is as it seems and nowhere is safe, from the city streets to the crumbling country pile, and from the small-town apartment to the dark, dark woods. There’s something sinister in suburbia. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.