Just an Ordinary Day

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9780553103038: Just an Ordinary Day

The stories in this edition represent the great diversity of her work, from humor to her shocking explorations of the human psyche. The tales range, chronologically, from the writings of her college days and residence in Greenwich Village in the early 1940s, to the unforgettably chilling stories from the period just before her death. They provide an exciting overview of the evolution of her craft through a progression of forms and styles, and add significantly to the body of her published work.



Just an Ordinary Day is a testament to how large a talent Shirley Jackson had and to the depth, breadth, and complexity of her writing. Though this remarkable literary life was cut short, Jackson clearly established a unique voice that has won a permanent place in the canon of outstanding American literature, and remains a powerful influence on generations of readers and writers.


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Review:

The late Shirley Jackson (1919-65) is the author of the classic short story, " The Lottery," a dark, unforgettable tale of the unthinking and murderous customs of a small New England town. She is also the author of several American Gothic novels, such as We Have Always Lived in the Castle and The Haunting of Hill House. Her atmospheric stories explore themes of psychological turmoil, isolation, and the inequity of fate. Just an Ordinary Day is a posthumous collection of 54 short stories (many of which have never been published), edited and introduced by two of Jackson's children. Jackson penned many of the stories in this volume for the popular press, for titles ranging from Fantasy and Science Fiction and The New Yorker to women's magazines such as Charm and Good Housekeeping. The disparity of the intended audience and the divergent styles result in an uneven collection of short stories, some that are outstanding and will be much appreciated by the reading public, others that hold interest only to the die-hard fan or chronicler of Jackson's work.

About the Author:

Shirley Jackson was born in San Francisco on December 14, 1916. She first received wide critical acclaim for “The Lottery,” which was published in The New Yorker in 1948 and went on to become one of the most anthologized stories in American literature. She is the author of six novels, including The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle; four collections of short stories and essays, including Let Me Tell You; and two family memoirs, Life Among the Savages and Raising Demons. For many years she lived in North Bennington, Vermont, with her husband, the renowned literary critic Stanley Edgar Hyman, and their four children. She died on August 8, 1965.
 
Laurence Jackson Hyman, the eldest child of Shirley Jackson and Stanley Edgar Hyman, is the author, editor, or co-editor of dozens of books and monographs.
 
Sarah Hyman DeWitt is the third child of Shirley Jackson and Stanley Edgar Hyman. She is a performer, folksinger, and artist.

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