On Shirley Jackson

Episode 43 · March 27th, 2019 · 1 hr 15 mins

About this Episode

Shirley Jackson's stories and novels rank among the greatest weird works produced in America during the 20th century. However, unlike authors such as Philip K. Dick and H.P. Lovecraft, Jackson didn't cut her teeth in the pulps but among the slick pages of such illustrious publications as The New Yorker. On the other hand, whether because her most famous novel uses the traditional ghost story form or because she was a woman, Jackson only rarely appears in the litanies of weird literature, where she most definitely belongs. In this episode, Phil and JF discuss two of Jackson's short works, "The Lottery" and "The Summer People." The conversation touches on such cheerful topics as human sacrifice, the use of tradition to license evil, and the alienness that can infect even the most familiar things ... when the stars are right.

Header image by Hussein Twabi, Wikimedia Commons


The Weird Studies Patreon
Shirley Jackson
Zoë Heller, “The Haunted Mind of Shirley Jackson,” review of Ruth Franklin, Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life
American writer Mitch Horowitz
Rhonda Byrne, The Secret
Stuart Wilde, The Trick to Money is Having Some
Seymour Ginsburg, Gurdjieff Unveiled
Randall Collins, Violence: A Microsociological Theory
James Hillman, A Terrible Love of War
Homer, The Iliad
Phil & JF at Octopus Books in Ottawa, 2015
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations “Whatever happens to you has been waiting to happen since the beginning of time. The twining strands of fate wove both of them together: your own existence and the things that happen to you.”
David Lynch, Blue Velvet