Image via The Lottery of Death
February is Women in Horror Month, so who better to pay homage to than Shirley Jackson for this month’s Lit Love? Jackson produced a prolific amount of fiction before her death in 1965, and she is recognized as one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century. She’s best known for her short story, “The Lottery,” which appeared in The New Yorker in 1948.
I read “The Lottery” in high school, but didn’t revisit Jackson’s work until this past year, when I was reading a series of interviews with well-known horror writers. It seemed like every single one of them listed Jackson as an influence and inspiration, so I dove into The Lottery and Other Stories and requested a copy of The Haunting of Hill House from my local library. Her prose is incredibly evocative and the everyday nature of her stories makes horror elements feel even more terrifyingly real and inevitable.
Images via Too Much Horror Fiction
Her novel We Have Always Lived in the Castle was one of Time Magazine‘s Ten Best Novels in 1962, and The Haunting of Hill House was a finalist for the National Book Award. It was also adapted to film in 1963 and 1999. The Shirley Jackson Awards were created in her honor in 2007, and are presented each year for “outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.”
I still have a stack of her work in my to-read pile — I’m hoping to get through at least one before the month is over. Be sure to share what’s on your must-read list, as well as your favorite women in horror, in the comments!— By Jamie, Customer Care Advocate