Shirley Jackson

This is one of the great haunted house stories of all time.  It is a great novel which captivates you from the very beginning with one of the greatest opening paragraphs of all time.  It is an amazing example of a classic gothic novel and one of the best in the genre for a writer to read and study as an example.

The book has been made into a movie, but I can’t say I have ever seen it.  In most cases the book is far better than the movie can ever hope to be.

There is a great point made my Ms. Jackson in an interview where she answered a question regarding if she believed in ghosts.  She responded that in order to write something convincingly, she had to believe in it.

This is an interesting revelation to me, I think there is a large degree of truth to what she is saying in the writing process.  I can only speak from my own experience, but even when I am writing something completely ridiculous, there is a sort of devil’s advocate in me which convincingly argues the case in my mind.

Shirley Jackson, while considered to be one of the great American authors is largely overlooked despite her most famous stories “The Lottery,” being included in just about every English textbook. English professors have pretty much kept her reputation alive all these years. She has finally received recognition in recent years, but most of her work has still been marginalized.

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