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You’re probably familiar with Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” one of the most iconic short stories of twentieth-century American literature.
From the early 1940s until her death in 1965, Jackson wrote dozens of short stories in many different modes: tales of young women isolated in the big city, of suburban housewives struggling against convention, of marriages gone brittle and stale. This course will look closely at a wide selection of the stories, some from Jackson’s early collection The Lottery and Other Stories, others uncollected or unpublished during her lifetime and published posthumously. They reveal her at the apex of her craft, able to condense complex narratives into a space of just a few pages while drawing deep from the well of mythology and folklore.
Class meets Thursdays: May 20 and 27.
Programs taking place online:An access link will be emailed to you after purchase.
Programs taking place in our NYC facilities:Please read our safety guidelines before visiting our building.
Programs taking place online and in our NYC facilities:Please select which experience you wish to participate in when registering. Online participants will be emailed an access link after purchase. In-person participants should read our safety guidelines before attending the program.
Ruth Franklin is a book critic and former editor at The New Republic. Her first biography, Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography and was named a New York Times Notable Book of 2016, a Time magazine top nonfiction book of 2016 and a “best book of 2016” by The Boston Globe, the San Francisco Chronicle, NPR and others. Her work appears in many publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The New York Review of Books and Harper’s. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in biography, a Cullman Fellowship at the New York Public Library, a Leon Levy Fellowship in biography, and the Roger Shattuck Prize for Criticism.
Reading Shirley Jackson with Ruth Franklin
Back by popular demand, Ruth Franklin on Shirley Jackson’s stories.