Shirley Jackson

Essays on the Literary Legacy


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About the Book

Shirley Jackson was one of America’s most prominent female writers of the 1950s. Between 1948 and 1965 she published six novels, one best-selling story collection, two popular volumes of her family chronicles and many stories, which ranged from fairly conventional tales for the women’s magazine market to the ambiguous, allusive, delicately sinister and more obviously literary stories that were closest to Jackson’s heart and destined to end up in the more highbrow end of the market. Most critical discussions of Jackson tend to focus on “The Lottery” and The Haunting of Hill House. An author of such accomplishment—and one so fully engaged with the pressures and preoccupations of postwar America—merits fuller discussion. To that end, this collection of essays widens the scope of Jackson scholarship with new writing on such works as The Road through the Wall and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, and topics ranging from Jackson’s domestic fiction to ethics, cosmology, and eschatology. The book also makes newly available some of the most significant Jackson scholarship published in the last two decades.

About the Author(s)

Bernice M. Murphy is a lecturer in popular literature at the School of English, Trinity College, Dublin, and director of the M.Phil in popular literature degree program.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Bernice M. Murphy

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 304
Bibliographic Info: appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2005
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2312-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi
Introduction: “Do You Know Who I Am?” Reconsidering Shirley Jackson       1

1. Fallen Eden in Shirley Jackson’s The Road Through the Wall
Joan Wylie Hall      23
2. Comic-Satiric-Fantastic-Gothic: Interactive Modes in Shirley Jackson’s Narratives
James Egan      34
3. Multiple Personality and the Postmodern Subject: Theorizing Agency
Marta Caminero-Santangelo      52
4. New World Miniatures: Shirley Jackson’s The Sundial and Postwar American Society
Rich Pascal      81
5. “The People of the Village Have Always Hated Us”: Shirley Jackson’s New England Gothic
Bernice M. Murphy      104
6. House Mothers and Haunted Daughters: Shirley Jackson and the Female Gothic
Roberta Rubenstein            127
7. “Whose Hand Was I Holding?”: Familial and Sexual Politics in Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House
Tricia Lootens      150
8. Shirley Jackson and the Reproduction of Mothering: The Haunting of Hill House
Judie Newman      169
9. Shirley Jackson: Domestic Horror
S.T. Joshi      183
10. The Establishment and Preservation of Female Power in Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Lynette Carpenter      199
11. King of the Castle: Shirley Jackson and Stephen King
Dara Downey and Darryl Jones      214
12. Chambers of Yearning: Shirley Jackson’s Use of the Gothic
John G. Parks      237
13. Stephen Spielberg’s The Haunting: A Reconsideration of David Self’’s Script
Darryl Hattenhauer      251
14. Life Lessons in Shirley Jackson’s Late Fiction: Ethics, Cosmology, Eschatology
Diane Long Hoeveler      267

Appendix: Shirley Jackson Bibliography      281
About the Contributors      287
Index      291

Book Reviews & Awards

“clearly written and scrupulously researched…essential”—Choice.