Shirley Jackson

A Rather Haunted Life
eAudio - unabridged
Audio (19.42 hours)
Product Number: Z100119080
Released: Sep 27, 2016
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781504739030
Narrator/s: Bernadette Dunne
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This historically relevant biography establishes Shirley Jackson as a towering figure in American literature and revives the life and work of a neglected master.Known to millions mainly as the author of the "The Lottery," Shirley Jackson 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. Ruth Franklin reveals the tumultuous life and inner darkness of the author of The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle.Placing Jackson within an American gothic tradition stretching 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's stories and nonfiction chronicles were already exploring the exploitation and the desperate isolation of women, particularly married women, in American society.Here Jackson emerges as a ferociously talented, determined, and prodigiously creative writer when it was unusual for a woman to have both a family and a profession. Mother of four and wife of a prominent New Yorker critic and academic, Jackson lived a seemingly bucolic life in Vermont. Yet, much like her stories, which explored the claustrophobia of marriage and motherhood, Jackson's creativity 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. Franklin insightfully details the effects of Jackson's upbringing, hypercritical mother, and relationship with her husband.Based on previously undiscovered correspondence and dozens of new interviews, this book explores an astonishing talent shaped by a damaging childhood and turbulent marriage and becomes the definitive biography of a generational avatar and American literary giant.

Author(s): Ruth Franklin
Awards:2017-Best Critical Biographical-Winner-The Edgar Award
Original Publish Date: Sep 27, 2016

All formats/editions

Author(s): Ruth Franklin
Narrator(s): Bernadette Dunne
Product Number DD25569
Released: Sep 27, 2016
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781504739092

Professional reviews

"This audiobook is proof positive that Jackson's best-known story, "The Lottery," is just the tip of the iceberg with regard to her talent. Placing her in the American gothic tradition, alongside Hawthorne and Poe, is high praise indeed. Narrator Bernadette Dunne has just the voice to capture the biography's tenor and subject, and she does a marvelous job creating an interesting audio experience. Dunne's voice is deep, slightly raspy, and serious enough to support the author's view that Jackson is an important literary voice that deserves to be heard. She also keeps the audiobook moving, using her range and excellent pacing to maintain our interest throughout this essential critical appraisal. Dunne stays away from character voices, relying on her measured tone and clear diction. R.I.G. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine"

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