Thursday, July 15, 2010

On Shirley Jackson

The Library of America has recently released a collection of Jackson's work, and Salon has a good appreciation. 'Jackson told interviewers that "The Lottery," which depicts the lead-up to a sacrificial stoning, was based on her experiences living in the small New England town of North Bennington, Vt., where her husband took a job at Bennington College. Asked what the story was about, she replied "anti-Semitism"...To judge by her fiction, she regarded most people as reflexively vain, petty and censorious -- and she'd never even been on the Internet! Humanity did not disappoint her expectations. Of the hundreds of letters she received about "The Lottery," she found that at first "people were not so much concerned with what the story meant; what they wanted to know was where these lotteries were held, and whether they could go there and watch." ' More...

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