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Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson

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Also Known As: Shirley Hardie Jackson Died: August 8, 1965
Born: December 14, 1916 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Profession:

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Shirley Jackson was an American author, well known for her horror, suspense, and Gothic sensibilities. Born on December 14, 1916 in San Francisco, California, Jackson grew up spending more time writing than playing with other children. After a brief spell attending Rochester University, she started studying at Syracuse University in 1937, a decision that affected her professional and personal life. There, she published her first short story "Janice" (1938) and met her future husband, literary critic Stanley Edgar Hyman, with whom she would have four children. She continued to write over the years that followed, and had stories published in The New Republic, The New Yorker, and much more. In 1948, Jackson published the first in a string of successful Gothic novels, The Road Through the Wall. That same year, however, Jackson's most famous work, the short story "The Lottery" was published in The New Yorker. It led to the magazine receiving the largest volume of mail in response to any one work before or since, most of it negative. Since then, though, the story has been seen as one of the greatest literary works of the 20th century, and has been adapted for the stage and the screen numerous times....

Shirley Jackson was an American author, well known for her horror, suspense, and Gothic sensibilities. Born on December 14, 1916 in San Francisco, California, Jackson grew up spending more time writing than playing with other children. After a brief spell attending Rochester University, she started studying at Syracuse University in 1937, a decision that affected her professional and personal life. There, she published her first short story "Janice" (1938) and met her future husband, literary critic Stanley Edgar Hyman, with whom she would have four children. She continued to write over the years that followed, and had stories published in The New Republic, The New Yorker, and much more. In 1948, Jackson published the first in a string of successful Gothic novels, The Road Through the Wall. That same year, however, Jackson's most famous work, the short story "The Lottery" was published in The New Yorker. It led to the magazine receiving the largest volume of mail in response to any one work before or since, most of it negative. Since then, though, the story has been seen as one of the greatest literary works of the 20th century, and has been adapted for the stage and the screen numerous times. Jackson followed up these accomplishments with a succession of novels, Hangsaman (1951), The Bird's Nest (1954), and The Sundial (1958). She then wrote and published her biggest novel success, The Haunting of Hill House, a quintessential ghost story regarded by Stephen King and many others as one of the important horror works. It has been adapted into two films. Jackson continued to write until her death at age 48 on August 8, 1965 from heart failure in her sleep. A number of posthumous works were published by her husband and children, including the unfinished novel Come Along with Me. Since 2007, the Shirley Jackson awards have been given for outstanding achievement in horror and suspense, and her home of North Bennington, Vermont has celebrated Shirley Jackson Day on June 27, the day "The Lottery" took place. Her work has influenced authors like Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and more.

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1938:
Published first short story "Janice" while studying at Syracuse University
1940:
Wrote a number of stories published in The New Republic and The New Yorker
1948:
Her first novel, <i>The Road Through the Wall</i>, was published
1948:
Landmark short story "The Lottery" published in The New Yorker
1951:
Continued Gothic novel writing with <i>Hangsaman</i>
1954:
Wrote and published <i>The Bird's Nest</i>
1958:
<i>The Sundial</i> was published, continuing string of haunting novels
1959:
<i>The Haunting of Hill House</i>, Jackson's most well-known and well-regarded novel, was released
1962:
The last of Jackson's novels released during her lifetime, <i>We Have Always Lived in the Castle</i>, becomes a bestseller
1968:
Jackson's husband Stanley Edgar Hyman posthumously published <i>Come Along with Me</i>
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Education

University of Rochester: - 1935
Syracuse University: - 1937

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