Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson was an influential American author. A popular writer in her time, her work has received increasing attention from literary critics in recent years. She has influenced such writers as Stephen King, Nigel Kneale, and Richard Matheson.

She is best known for her dystopian short story, “The Lottery” (1948), which suggests there is a deeply unsettling underside to bucolic, small town America. In her critical biography of Shirley Jackson, Lenemaja Friedman notes that when Shirley Jackson’s story “The Lottery” was published in the June 28, 1948, issue of The New Yorker, it received a response that “no New Yorker story had ever received.” Hundreds of letters poured in that were characterized by, as Jackson put it, “bewilderment, speculation and old-fashioned abuse.”

Books in order of publication:

  • The Road Through the Wall (Farrar, Straus, 1948)
  • Hangsaman (Farrar, Straus and Young, 1951)
  • The Bird’s Nest (Farrar, Straus and Young, 1954)
  • The Sundial (Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, 1958)
  • The Haunting of Hill House (Viking, 1959)
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Viking, 1962)
  • Shirley Jackson: Four Novels of the 1940s & 50s, ed. Ruth Franklin (Library of America, 2020)

Short fiction


  • The Lottery and Other Stories (Farrar, Straus, 1949)
  • The Magic of Shirley Jackson (ed. Stanley Edgar Hyman; Farrar, Straus, 1966)
  • Come Along with Me: Part of a Novel, Sixteen Stories, and Three Lectures (ed. Stanley Edgar Hyman; Viking, 1968)
  • Just an Ordinary Day (ed. Laurence & Sarah Hyman; Bantam, 1996)
  • Shirley Jackson: Novels & Stories (ed. Joyce Carol Oates; Library of America, 2010)
  • Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings (ed. Laurence & Sarah Hyman; Random House, 2015)
  • Dark Tales (Penguin, 2016)

Children’s works

  • The Witchcraft of Salem Village (Random House, 1956)
  • The Bad Children: A Play in One Act for Bad Children (Dramatic Publishing Company, 1958)
  • Nine Magic Wishes (Crowell-Collier, 1963)
  • Famous Sally (Harlin Quist, 1966)


  • Life Among the Savages: An Uneasy Chronicle (Farrar, Straus and Young, 1953)
  • Raising Demons (Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, 1957)
  • Special Delivery: A Useful Book for Brand-New Mothers (Little, Brown, 1960)
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