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Novels and Stories

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  508 ratings  ·  54 reviews
“The world of Shirley Jackson is eerie and unforgettable,” writes A. M. Homes. “It is a place where things are not what they seem; even on a morning that is sunny and clear there is always the threat of darkness looming, of things taking a turn for the worse.” Jackson’s characters–mostly unloved daughters in search of a home, a career, a family of their own–chase what appe ...more
Hardcover, 832 pages
Published May 27th 2010 by Library of America (first published 2010)
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Community Reviews

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A moral thread through Jackson's tales: She who sees evil in everyone around her should look in a mirror. Especially if she lives in a village.

A few notes on this edition:
Although Joyce Carol Oates is the editor, she only selected the included novels and short stories. Sadly, there is no preface or comment from her. Also, the book is printed on exceedingly thin paper, which you can clearly see the type through from the other side. It makes it quite hard to read. I probably won't be reading a sim
5.0 stars.

I am so tempted to write an inviting introduction to this review; but, especially with Shirley Jackson’s writing, such an introduction would spoil “the fun.” Suffice it to say, the reader takes one exciting, startling, yet joyful “ride.”

With the Library of America volume, a reader cannot help but “fall” into her world. And, I certainly now understand why some readers have exclaimed, “I love Shirley Jackson,” or even, “I am in love with Shirley Jackson.” She casts quite a spell.

And so,
"He was confused between trying to look hurt and trying to see if anyone heard what she was saying."

"No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality."

Watch your back Willa Cather because there's a new lady gunning for the distinguished honor of being my favorite female author. This was basically a collection of almost everything Shirley Jackson ever wrote during her brief lifetime. It is fantastic!

I had only known her before through her most famous sho
Jackson, Shirley. THE LOTTERY: or, The Adventures of James Harris. (1949). ****. “The Lottery,” was Jackson’s only collection of short fiction, twenty-five stories followed by an epilogue, an excerpt from “James Harris, The Daemon Lover (Child Ballad No. 243).” The title story is the best known, said to be the most anthologized short story around. This one, and a few of the others I’ve read before. This is the first time I read the whole collection straight through. I found it impossible to clas ...more
Ashley Davis
While I did not read every story in this anthology, I’d say I read a good 3/5ths of it. And due it being a library book, I decided to hold off on The Haunting of Hill House (which I have in my Kindle), so you won’t see a review of that work here. There will be little to no summary or interpretation in my reviews, just a fellow reader and Jackson fan’s ratings.

First, I perused some short stories. Though I deliberately held off on rereading “The Lottery” for the first time since junior college (al
It took me nearly a month to read this book - clocking in at over 800 pages, it's quite large. The pages are very thin and the type a little small, so fortunately it looks and feels smaller than it really is.

I picked this up because Jackson's infamous story The Lottery is included in this collection. For such a short story, it caused quite a stir when it was originally published in The New Yorker, and while I think the response may have been a bit severe, I can certainly see why it made so many
A few years ago I read a review of an anthology of short stories in which a story by Joyce Carol Oates was praised as "a study of loneliness worthy of Shirley Jackson." For that and many other reasons how apropos that it's Oates herself who has compiled the contents of this very welcome volume, which features Jackson's three best books in their entirety: her 1949 collection The Lottery and Other Stories, and her classic novels The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle. No ...more
Oct 14, 2010 Kate rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Gothic and Horror Enthusiasts
This is a wonderful collection, who's stories were selected by one of my favorite authors, Joyce Carol Oates.

I had read a few of Shirley Jackson's stories in high school and remembered really enjoying them, so when I saw this collection, I knew it had to be mine.

I had read The Lottery of course and Charles in high school, however there were the two novels and sketches I hadn't read yet and throughly enjoyed just as much, if not more. If I was to rank the content by most enjoyable to least enjoya
This was a 6 star book for me. Prior to reading this Library of America collection of Shirley Jackson's work, I was only familiar with her most recognized story The Lottery, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but that I now appreciate is only a teeny-weeny taste of what Shirley Jackson has to offer.

The book is comprised of The Lottery, a collection of short stories that includes the short story by the same name, The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, both short novellas
When I found this lovely at the library I was cautiously optimistic, I have read so much Shirley Jackson I was just not sure there was much I had not read.
Well, I was wrong--not only were there many short stories here that I had not read but there was a section of unpublished work that was truly amazing--I also loved the extensive notes, dates and short bio of Ms. Jackson's life. I am seriously considering declaring her the Master of the Short Story (yeah, I'm playin' God--that's how I roll...
By the time of her death at the age of 48, Shirley Jackson was a full-blown agoraphobic shut-in who refused to leave her house. Ironically enough, though, the vast majority of the works in "Novels and Stories" are pretty unrelenting attacks on the bourgeois American home; deconstructions of the idea that women should find any safety or comfort in the life of a mid-century housewife. In fact, the only time that the women in these stories are more uncomfortable and lonely and exploited and miserab ...more
Kristi Thielen
Stephen King is right - he can't hold a candle to Jackson. A terrific read for October, near the light of a jack-o-lantern. "Haunting of Hill House," and "We Have Always Lived in the Castle," are as good the second or third time around as any short novel anywhere else, and "The Lottery," remains one of the most gripping short stories in American literature. (This book also includes the witty "Biography of a Story," about the blowback from "The Lottery.") The short stories are equally as good - e ...more
Diann Blakely
I, for one, am profoundly grateful that the Library of America chose to enshrine Jackson's work in this way, for her "novels and stories" can no longer be confined to "minor" or be called by that dreadful term, "cult classics." Joyce Carol Oates' work as editor and introduction writer are likewise superb; look at IN ROUGH COUNTRY (Ecco Press), which I haven't yet finished, for her essay on "We Have Always Lived In The Castle."

Hooray to the HUFFINGTON POST as well, for last summer I came across t
Christian Engler
The Library of America edition of the Novels and Stories of Shirley Jackson is certainly a must-have for any novice writer or true appreciator of the genre of the gothic and psychological. It is a spot-on collection that encompasses all the vital works, like The Haunting of Hill House, which was a nominee for the 1960 National Book Award and which also inspired the famous black and while film by Ray Wise. Also included is the classic novel of human alienation, We have Always Lived in the Castle, ...more
Ethnea Ferguson
Loved it! I remember reading the Lottery in high school - I didn't realize that Shirley Jackson was a prolific writer - her writing is wonderful - I felt like I was reading episodes of The Twilight Zone. I wondered if Rod Serling was inspired by her, but I couldn't find anything about that. Stephen King called her "Haunting of Hill House" one of the great ghost stories of all time - it was a fun read. The one word that came to mind as I was reading it was "delicious"!
..with an afterword by Joyce Carol Oates (I can't think of any other writer more suited for the job of writing about Ms. Jackson, the two women both have the sense of the macabre about them!!)

For someone who looked so safe in her publicity stills, Shirley Jackson was anything but. An inspiration to Stephen King (whose photo DEFINITELY gives you a clue to his dark side), Jackson wrote stories that are creepy because you can’t sweep them under the bed, thinking they could never happen in real life
Jackson found the creepy in the everyday, brilliantly. I read the first section of this volume, savoring the short stories, as well as her essay on the response to "The Lottery." She illumines the prejudices of post WWII America in their New England flavor. I only knew "The Lottery" and enjoyed reading more of her work.
B.E. Scully
Like many people, I first encountered Shirley Jackson’s work in high school, where her short story “The Lottery” is a reading list staple. Also like many people, I didn’t know much about the author, but Jackson’s unforgettable tale of a small town stoning a woman to death for no apparent reason other than tradition stayed with me. I would later discover that this is one of the most persistent effects of entering Jackson’s strangely unsettling worlds, in which nothing or no one is as it seems—lov ...more
Shirley Jackson’s frequent themes of alienation and isolation seem to find their ultimate expression in her 1962 novel We Have Always Lived in the Castle, one of the two novels reprinted in The Library of America’s collection Shirley Jackson: Novels and Stories.

Mary Katherine is the narrator of the story, and although I would not go so far as to say she is unreliable, her baroque view of the world she lives in does not always immediately reveal the objective truth of her circumstances.

Jackson as
The Haunting of Hill House
not sure about this one. wish i could give stars on Goodreads because this one is a 2.5 star story for me.

there’s something about this story that’s compelling but, on the other hand, much of the dialogue is really bubble gummy and tritely saccharin. the reasons for these people being invited and actually coming to stay in an old house with a horrible reputation are trumped up at best and simply ridiculous at worst.

however, some of the scary bits are really frightening
This is a great collection of Jackson's more accessible work. I would have liked to see a book that collected Jackson's more hard to find novels- The Bird's Nest, Hangsaman, The Sundial, because I haven't been able to find those in the library or bookstores. However, I would recommend this collection to anyone who wants to delve further into Jackson's work if they liked the story "The Lottery". I had never even known that "The Lottery" was part of a collection of short stories, and what a good c ...more
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
Feb 23, 2013 Elizabeth (Miss Eliza) marked it as neglected_deprived_and_languishing
We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Date I read this book: September 19th, 2012

"Merricat, said Connie, would you like a cup of tea?
Oh no, said Merricat, you'll poison me.
Merricat, said Connie, would you like to go to sleep?
Down in the boneyard ten feet deep!"

Mary Katherine Blackwood, called Merricat, and her sister Constance, have lived their life for the past six years shut away from the world caring for their Uncle Julian. Their only other companion is Merricat's cat Jonas. Merricat is the only
Houses and apartments are very important to Shirley Jackson. She describes the houses in detail, and by the end of the story or novel, the house has changed. No ghosts, nothing jumping out at you, no screams, but sure as can be, we are creeped out and definitely unnerved.

In the novel "We Have Always Lived in the Castle," Mary Katherine describes the house after a fire. "I stood at the foot of the stairs, looking up, wondering where our house has gone, the walls and the floors and the beds and th
I'd like to read some smart person's essay comparing the work of Shirley Jackson and Flannery O'Connor. Both are quirky writers, both in characters and plots. But Jackson is horrifying. There's no sense of God in her stories, but evil is definitely there. I made the mistake of reading "The Haunting of Hill House" and "We Have Always Lived in the Castle", both of which were extremely disturbing. Hard to believe this is the same woman who wrote such charming stories about her family!
I was first introduced to Shirley Jackson in my early teens through the movie version of "The Haunting of Hill House", starring Julie Harris. I immediately then rushed to the library in search of the novel. I have read and re-read the book a handful of times, and have watched the movie many times as well, so it may seem strange that I had never read any of her other writings. So when I began this anthology, I was delighted to find that I thoroughly enjoyed each and every story. It is understanda ...more
I checked out this edition from the UNC library with the intention of just reading "The Haunting of Hill House," but I think I will probably go ahead and read "We Have Always Lived in the Castle" as well. "The Haunting" was everything I wanted from a Halloween-time book and more. I was genuinely disturbed (and also angry at the stupid 1999 movie 'The Haunting.')
I picked up this anthology in order to refresh my memory of "The Lottery" and read "The Haunting of Hill House" for the first time.

It never ceases to amaze me how Jackson can build a roaring fire out of two thin sticks. She gives us nothing but the meanest sketches in her short fiction but they draw the reader in and lodge in the memory afterward.

Hill House isn't as incisive as her other work. The dialogue is a little too carefully crafted, which messes with the suspension of disbelief. But tho
Danielle Ryder
The Lottery and We have always lived in the castle are the only Shirley Jackson stories worth reading. They are absolutely wonderful... but everything else is bland and boring. It reminds me of tasteless food when sick.
A good collection of "Jackson essentials" as chosen by Joyce Carol Oates. Jackson's short fiction packs a powerful, startling punch, and The Haunting of Hill House is a classic in psychological horror that literally freaks me out no matter how many times I read it. We have always lived in the castle gives us Merricat, a culmination of many of Jackson's characteristic heroine traits all rolled up into one brilliant character. I might have added Come along with me to show where Jackson was heading ...more
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  • Early Novels and Stories
  • Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, Tales, and Memoirs
  • American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from Poe to the Pulps
  • Novels & Stories 1950-62: Player Piano/The Sirens of Titan/Mother Night/Stories
  • Historical Romances
  • The Sheltering Sky, Let it Come Down, The Spider's House
  • The Best Horror of the Year Volume Four
  • Tales and Sketches
  • Novels, 1956-1964
  • American Supernatural Tales
  • Year's Best Weird Fiction, Volume One
  • Novels and Stories, 1920-1922
  • Complete Stories, 1892-1898
  • Complete Novels: The Robber Bridegroom, Delta Wedding, The Ponder Heart, Losing Battles, The Optimist's Daughter
  • Collected Essays and Poems
  • Novels, 1926-1929
  • Fugue State
  • Collected Stories and Other Writings
Shirley Jackson was an influential American author. A popular writer in her time, her work has received increasing attention from literary critics in recent years. She has influenced such writers as Stephen King, Nigel Kneale, and Richard Matheson.

She is best known for her dystopian short story, "The Lottery" (1948), which suggests there is a deeply unsettling underside to bucolic, smalltown Ameri
More about Shirley Jackson...

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