Shirley Jackson was an American novelist and short-story writer best
known for her story "The Lottery" (1948). Jackson graduated from
Syracuse University in 1940 and married the American literary critic
Stanley Edgar Hyman. They settled in North Bennington in 1945. Life
Among the Savages (1953) and Raising Demons (1957) are witty and
humorous fictionalized memoirs about their life with their four
children. Their light, comic tone contrasts sharply with the dark
pessimism of Jackson's other works, whose general theme is the presence
of evil and chaos just beneath the surface of ordinary, everyday life.
"The Lottery," a chilling tale whose meaning has been much debated,
provoked widespread public outrage when it was first published in The
New Yorker in 1948. Jackson's six finished novels, especially The
Haunting of Hill House (1959) and We Have Always Lived in the Castle
(1962), further established her reputation as a master of gothic horror
and psychological suspense.
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