Friday, June 26, 2015

6/26/21948 Shirley Jackson wins The Lottery

June 26, 1948.  The issue of The New Yorker with this cover date featured the first appearance there by Shirley Jackson.  The readership reacted more strongly to "The Lottery" than to any story the magazine had previously published.  Jackson said the responses fell into three categories: "bewilderment, speculation and plain old-fashioned abuse."  It is now generally considered one of the greatest American short stories.

Jackson wrote much more.  "The Possibility of Evil" is one of my favorite crime stories.  The Haunting of Hill House is a favorite horror novel of none other than Stephen King.  Life Among The Savages is a book of domestic humor in the vein of Jean Kerr and Erma Bombeck.

If you want to read the story that shocked the New Yorker subscribers, it is available on the web but I doubt it is copyright-compliant, so I am not linking to it.  You can read more about the reactions to the story (“I read it while soaking in the tub … and was tempted to put my head underwater and end it all,” ) here.

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