Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life 1st Edition, Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 75 customer reviews
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ISBN-13: 978-1631493416
ISBN-10: 1631493418
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“With this welcome new biography Franklin makes a thoughtful and persuasive case for Jackson as a serious and accomplished literary artist. . . . [Franklin] sees Jackson not as an oddball, one-off writer of horror tales and ghost stories but as someone belonging to the great tradition of Hawthorne, Poe and James, writers preoccupied, as she was, with inner evil in the human soul.”
- Charles McGrath, New York Times Book Review

“Ruth Franklin’s sympathetic and masterful biography both uncovers Jackson’s secret and haunting life and repositions her as a major artist whose fiction so uncannily channeled women’s nightmares and contradictions that it is ‘nothing less than the secret history of American women of her era.’”
- Elaine Showalter, Washington Post

“Franklin is a conscientious, lucid biographer, and her book is never less than engaging.”
- Blake Bailey, Wall Street Journal

“Franklin's research is wide and deep, drawing on Jackson's published and unpublished writings including correspondence and diaries, as well as interviews….Franklin has shown the interplay between the life, the work, and the times with real skill and insight, making this fine book a real contribution not only to biography, but to mid-20th-century women's history.”
- Katherine A. Powers, Chicago Tribune

“Masterful…Taut, insightful, and thrilling, in ways that haunt, not quite as ghost story, but as a tale of a woman who strains against the binds of marriage, of domesticity, and suffers for it in a way that is of her time as a 1950s homemaker, and in a way that speaks to what it means to be a writer, an artist, and a woman even now.”
- Nina MacLaughlin, Boston Globe

“A Shirley Jackson biography seems especially timely today, even though Jackson, as with many of her stories, remains somewhat mythically timeless….Franklin’s is both broader in scope and more measured in its analysis….[A] masterful account.”
- Jane Hu, New Republic

“Comprehensive…Jackson’s lifelong interest in rituals, witchcraft, charms and hexes were, Franklin convincingly maintains, metaphors for exploring power and disempowerment…Franklin situates Jackson’s conflicted relationship with coercive postwar US domesticity within the context that would give rise in 1963 to Betty Friedan’s attack on ‘the feminine mystique’…[A] sympathetic and fair-minded biography.”
- Sarah Churchwell, The Guardian

“[Shirley Jackson] strongly affirms the American author’s powerful collection of stories, novels and memoirs. . . . Magisterial and compulsively readable.”
- Lauren LeBlanc, Minneapolis Star Tribune

“[Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life] represents the latest and most concerted attempt to reclaim the writer’s reputation. It’s also a fresh effort to frame her as an artist with extraordinary insight into the lives, the concerns, and―above all―the fears of women…Gender is not the only prejudice that has kept us from acknowledging the brilliance of Shirley Jackson, but Franklin’s biography is a giant step toward the truth.”
- Laura Miller, Slate

Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life deftly narrates the influences, experiences and reputation of the author of the famously enduring story ‘The Lottery.’ As a history of the literary culture of the 1940s and ’50s, it teases out the daily lives of people who displayed James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses,’ Wilhelm Reich’s ‘The Function of the Orgasm’ and James George Frazer’s ‘The Golden Bough’ on their coffee tables. And as a chronicle of American life in the Eisenhower era, it reminds us of a time when people with too many books could be considered subversive…Much of Jackson’s writing is a weird, rich brew, and Franklin captures its savor.”
- Seth Lerer, San Francisco Chronicle

About the Author

Ruth Franklin is a book critic, former editor at the New Republic, and author of A Thousand Darknesses: Lies and Truth in Holocaust Fiction, finalist for the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature.

Product details

  • File Size: 51013 KB
  • Print Length: 620 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1631493418
  • Publisher: Liveright; 1 edition (September 27, 2016)
  • Publication Date: September 27, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01BX7S014
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #182,179 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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