27 Facts About Shirley Jackson


Shirley Hardie Jackson was an American writer known primarily for her works of horror and mystery.

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Shirley Jackson's continued to publish numerous short stories in literary journals and magazines throughout the 1950s, some of which were assembled and reissued in her 1953 memoir Life Among the Savages.

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Shirley Jackson's 1962 novel We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a Gothic mystery which has been described as Shirley Jackson's masterpiece.

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Shirley Jackson was raised in Burlingame, California, an affluent suburb of San Francisco, where her family resided in a two-story brick home located at 1609 Forest View Road.

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Shirley Jackson was often unable to fit in with other children and spent much of her time writing, much to her mother's distress.

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Shirley Jackson's attended Burlingame High School, where she played violin in the school orchestra.

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Shirley Jackson's then attended the nearby University of Rochester, where her parents felt they could maintain supervision over her studies.

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Shirley Jackson was unhappy in her classes there, and took a year-long hiatus from her studies before transferring to Syracuse University, where she flourished both creatively and socially.

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Shirley Jackson was of English ancestry, and her mother Geraldine traced her family heritage to the Revolutionary War hero General Nathanael Greene.

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Shirley Jackson's maternal grandmother, nicknamed "Mimi", was a Christian Science practitioner who continued to practice spiritual healing on members of the family after her retirement.

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Shirley Jackson was known to critically assess such attempts, recounting a time when Mimi claimed to have broken her leg and healed it through prayer overnight, though she had really only lightly sprained her ankle.

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Shirley Jackson began writing material as Hyman established himself as a critic.

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In 1948, Shirley Jackson published her debut novel, The Road Through the Wall, which tells a semi-autobiographical account of her childhood growing up in Burlingame, California, in the 1920s.

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The story prompted over 300 letters from readers, many of them outraged at its conjuring of a dark aspect of human nature, characterized by, as Shirley Jackson put it, "bewilderment, speculation, and old-fashioned abuse".

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Reluctant to discuss her work with the public, Jackson wrote in Stanley J Kunitz and Howard Haycraft's Twentieth Century Authors :.

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In 1954, Shirley Jackson published The Bird's Nest, which detailed a woman with multiple personalities and her relationship with her psychiatrist.

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Shirley Jackson's later published two memoirs, Life Among the Savages and Raising Demons.

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Also in 1959, Shirley Jackson published the one-act children's musical The Bad Children, based on Hansel and Gretel.

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Shirley Jackson's was a heavy smoker, which resulted in chronic asthma, joint pain, exhaustion, and dizziness leading to fainting spells, which were attributed to a heart problem.

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Shirley Jackson confided to friends that she felt patronized in her role as a "faculty wife", and ostracized by the townspeople of North Bennington.

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In 1965, Shirley Jackson died in her sleep at her home in North Bennington, at the age of 48.

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In 1968, Shirley Jackson's husband released a posthumous volume of her work, Come Along with Me, containing her unfinished last novel, as well as 14 previously uncollected short stories and three lectures she gave at colleges or writers' conferences in her last years.

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In 2007, the Shirley Jackson Awards were established with permission of Jackson's estate.

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Shirley Jackson has been cited as an influence on a diverse set of authors, including Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Sarah Waters, Nigel Kneale, Claire Fuller, Joanne Harris, and Richard Matheson.

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Lenemaja Friedman's Shirley Jackson was the first published survey of Jackson's life and work.

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Bernice Murphy's Shirley Jackson: Essays on the Literary Legacy is a collection of commentaries on Jackson's work.

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In contrast, Jacob Appel has written that Shirley Jackson was an "anti-regionalist writer" whose criticism of New England proved unpalatable to the American literary establishment.

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