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Novels & Stories: The Lottery / The Haunting of Hill House / We Have Always Lived in the Castle / Other Stories and Sketches

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  894 ratings  ·  105 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 ...more
Hardcover, 832 pages
Published May 27th 2010 by Library of America (first published 2010)
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Michael
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful collection of one of my favorite authors' work. It includes the two most famous novels--We Have Always Lived in the Castle (her best, in my opinion) and The Haunting of Hill House (a great and influential work)--along with a generous selection of stories, including of course The Lottery, the story that put her on the literary map. Having these novels and stories all together invites comparisons between them, and you can see how the sense of an eerie unquiet mind, and of ...more
Teresa
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This Library of America edition contains Shirley Jackson’s short-story collection The Lottery and Other Stories; the novels The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle; and a section titled “Other Stories and Sketches.” Having read and at least rated the others already, I’m only reviewing the latter (and the volume as a whole) here.

“Other Stories and Sketches” is divided into ‘Uncollected’ and ‘Unpublished.’ (I recently read a few of these in Just an Ordinary Day: The
...more
Cindy
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
...more
R.a.
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,
...more
Joe
Sep 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"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
...more
Robert
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. ...more
Soul Survivor
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was recommended this book by a very well-read , and somewhat unhinged ) librarian who new I like off-balance stories and have a wierd sense of humor . I enjoyed the novels , but really enjoyed the short stories more . I would highly encourage anyone with bizarre tastes to try some Shirley Jackson , who seems to be adding fans even though most of her work was published in the 1940-1955 period .
Ashley Davis
Jun 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
While I did not read every story in this anthology, I’d say I read a good 3/5ths of it. And due to 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
...more
Ashley
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
...more
Mary Gent
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As a lover of short stories and a dark mind, Shirley Jackson fulfills both. If your stories can convey terror, an impulsive jaw drop or troublesome head-scratching for days or weeks on end, you have accomplished perfection. I had previously read The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle but was delighted to reread them again, interspersed among some of the most chilling tales I have ever consumed. Shirley Jackson is a quiet master of the macabre and the human ...more
Shaun
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
...more
Zach
Feb 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Alex
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an omnibus collecting “The Lottery and Other Stories”, “The Haunting of Hill House, “We Have Always Lived in the Castle” and a number of other stories selected by the editor. I will be happily repurposing my reviews of the first three books, followed by discussion of some of the individual stories at the end.

“The Lottery and Other Stories” is a book jam-packed with misanthropes. And yet, I believe the underlying thesis is that most of society is populated with misanthropes and monsters.

...more
Belinda
Jan 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Kate
Jun 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Kathleen
Really enjoyed revisiting Shirley Jackson's novels, The Haunting and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, and reading so many delightfully disquieting short stories I hadn't encountered before. I found The Lottery; or The Adventures of James Harris darkly enchanting, subtly tied together by references to that elusive daemon, Mr. Harris. Then, I think some of my favorites of the uncollected or unpublished stories were "The Bus", "The Possibility of Evil", "The Rock", "The Honeymoon of Mrs. Smith", ...more
Kristi Thielen
Oct 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 - ...more
Melanie
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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.')
Nick
Dec 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
One great story after another. Sharp and deviously funny, the writings are unsettling as well as empathetic. A real pleasure to read.
Jordan Hagedon
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wish i could give more stars. I adore Shirley Jackson and her writing. Every story is wonderful and lovely and scary and sad and funny and dreadful. Just such a fantastic collection to have in my house. Read it, read it, read it, and revel in her genius!
Terra
Jul 28, 2019 rated it liked it
I just read the story/short novel - "We have always lived in the castle" - I think its best to take a break from reading additional Shirley Jackson for awhile.....
Emily
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So very disturbing, so very satisfying.
Christian Engler
Nov 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Mary Havens
Nov 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
"If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?"
While my list would be long, Shirley Jackson is definitely near the top.
Reading 800ish pages of her made me want to read more of her; to consume her, to be friends with her, to have book club and drinks and dinner and have playdates with our children and be mom friends with her, before her life became like one of her short stories. Really, it probably always was or at least she felt that way. But on to the stories!
My
...more
Stephen Simpson
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
I know Jackson is very well-regarded, but her writing doesn't work for me.

She should be canonized as the patron saint of the slow build ... so slow, in fact, that I'm lulled into a disinterested stupor ahead of the inevitable big twist and usually have to force myself to go back and read the last third-to-half of stories like The Lottery or We Have Always Lived In The Castle to get the point.
Grace
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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 ...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
...more
angie
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
..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
...more
Venessa
Oct 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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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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
...more