9th Ave: Ruth Franklin and Jane Hu discuss Shirley Jackson

Friday, October 21, 2016 - 7:30pm

This event will be held at our 9th Ave. store



To celebrate Ruth Franklin's biography of Shirley Jackson, we host a night of readings and conversation about this singular writer. With Jane Hu.




Praise for Ruth Franklin's Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life:


“Not just a terrific biography, but a remarkable act of reclamation: if there was ever a great writer of the Twentieth Century who fell victim to "How to Dismiss Women's Fiction", it was Shirley Jackson. What A Rather Haunted Life gives us is a way of reading Jackson and her work that threads her into the weave of the world of words, as a writer and as a woman, rather than excludes her as an anomaly. She WAS an anomaly, of course, because she was so smart and brave and glorious a writer and storyteller, because she was better at what she did, and had more range, than anyone else writing at the time.  Ruth Franklin is the biographer Jackson needed: she tells the story of the author in a way that made me want to reread every word Jackson ever wrote.” —Neil Gaiman
“Franklin's biography takes us beyond the chilling stories that made Shirley Jackson's name – into the dilemmas of a woman writer in the 50s and 60s, struggling to make a career between the pressures of childcare, domesticity and her own demons. It's a very modern story, and a terrific read.”— Mary Beard
“With her account of an emblematically American literary life, Ruth Franklin reminds us that her subject was far more than the writer of classy ghost stories. On the contrary, Shirley Jackson was the harbinger of profound upheavals both societal and literary. This is a brilliant biography on every level, but it is especially astute on Jackson's ground- and genre-breaking work, which I will now reread immediately.” — Tom Bissell author of Apostle
“A perfect marriage of biographer and subject: Ruth Franklin’s portrait of Shirley Jackson restores to her rightful place a writer of considerable significance, and draws a rich intellectual portrait of the age.” —Claire Messud


About Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life:


Still known to millions primarily as the author of the "The Lottery," Shirley Jackson (1916 1965) has been curiously absent from the mainstream American literary canon. A genius of literary suspense and psychological horror, Jackson plumbed the cultural anxiety of postwar America more deeply than anyone. Now, biographer Ruth Franklin reveals the tumultuous life and inner darkness of the author of such classics as The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle.

Placing Jackson within an American Gothic tradition that stretches back to Hawthorne and Poe, Franklin demonstrates how her unique contribution to this genre came from her focus on "domestic horror." Almost two decades before The Feminine Mystique ignited the women's movement, Jackson stories and nonfiction chronicles were already exploring the exploitation and the desperate isolation of women, particularly married women, in American society.Franklin's portrait of Jackson gives us a way of reading Jackson and her work that threads her into the weave of the world of words, as a writer and as a woman, rather than excludes her as an anomaly (Neil Gaiman).

The increasingly prescient Jackson emerges as a ferociously talented, determined, and prodigiously creative writer in a time when it was unusual for a woman to have both a family and a profession.A mother of four and the wife of the prominentNew Yorkercritic and academic Stanley Edgar Hyman, Jackson lived a seemingly bucolic life in the New England town of North Bennington, Vermont. Yet, much like her stories, which channeled the occult while exploring the claustrophobia of marriage and motherhood, Jackson's creative ascent was haunted by a darker side. As her career progressed, her marriage became more tenuous, her anxiety mounted, and she became addicted to amphetamines and tranquilizers. In sobering detail, Franklin insightfully examines the effects of Jackson's California upbringing, in the shadow of a hypercritical mother, on her relationship with her husband, juxtaposing Hyman's infidelities, domineering behavior, and professional jealousy with his unerring admiration for Jackson's fiction, which he was convinced was among the most brilliant he had ever encountered.

Based on a wealth of previously undiscovered correspondence and dozens of new interviews, Shirley Jackson an exploration of astonishing talent shaped by a damaging childhood and turbulent marriage becomes the definitive biography of a generational avatar and an American literary giant.


Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9780871403131
Availability: NOT on our shelves now. Usually ships 1-10 business days from warehouse. ETA will be updated with email order confirmation.
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - September 27th, 2016

Winner of the Edgar Award in Critical/Biographica Winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Nonfictio ANew York Times Notable Book of 2016 AWashington Post Notable Nonfiction Pick of 2016 AnEntertainment Weekly Best Book of 2016 ATime Magazine Top Nonfiction of 2016 ASeattle Times Best Book of 2016 AKirkus Reviews Best Book of

The Lottery and Other Stories (FSG Classics) Cover Image
By Shirley Jackson, A. M. Homes (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780374529536
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Call store for up-to-the-minute availability.
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - March 16th, 2005

One of the most terrifying stories of the twentieth century, Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" created a sensation when it was first published in The New Yorker in 1948. "Power and haunting," and "nights of unrest" were typical reader responses.

Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812987324
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Call store for up-to-the-minute availability.
Published: Random House Trade - June 7th, 2016

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR - From the renowned author of "The Lottery" and The Haunting of Hill House, a spectacular new volume of previously unpublished and uncollected stories, essays, and other writings.

Features "Family Treasures," nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Short Story

Raising Demons Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143127291
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Call store for up-to-the-minute availability.
Published: Penguin Books - May 5th, 2015

In the uproarious sequel to Life Among the Savages, the author of The Haunting of Hill House confronts the most vexing demons yet: her children

The Haunting of Hill House Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780140071085
Availability: Hard to Find. Not available to order. Call or email for used stock availability.
Published: Penguin Books - June 5th, 1984

The classic supernatural thriller by an author who helped define the genre

We Have Always Lived in the Castle: (penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) (Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions) Cover Image
By Shirley Jackson, Jonathan Lethem (Introduction by), Thomas Ott (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780143039976
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Call store for up-to-the-minute availability.
Published: Penguin Books - October 31st, 2006

Shirley Jackson's beloved gothic tale of a peculiar girl named Merricat and her family's dark secret

Event Categories: