June DINNER - The Lottery and Other Stories (Shirley Jackson)

  • June 8, 2014 · 6:15 PM
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Remember - we switch to dinners for June, July and August so people can enjoy their Sunday sunshine.  

The Lottery and Other Stories is a 1949 short story collection by American author Shirley Jackson. Most of us probably read "The Lottery" in middle school - and it has stuck with me to this day. Less than 10 pages and often touted as "one of the most terrifying stories written in [the 20th] century,  it created created a sensation when it was first published in The New Yorker. 'Power and haunting,' and 'nights of unrest' were typical reader responses. This collection, the only one to appear during Shirley Jackson's lifetime, unites "The Lottery" with 24 equally unusual stories. Together they demonstrate Jackson's remarkable range--from the hilarious to the truly horrible--and power as a storyteller."  -Amazon and Wikipedia

Reviews:

"In her art, as in her life, Shirley Jackson was an absolute original. She listened to her own voice, kept her own counsel, isolated herself from all intellectual and literary currents . . . . She was unique."--Newsweek

About the Author:

"Shirley Hardie Jackson (December 14, 1916 – August 8, 1965) was an American author. She was a popular writer in her time, and her work has received increasing attention from literary critics in recent years. She has influenced such writers as Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Nigel Kneale, and Richard Matheson.

In her critical biography of Jackson, Lenemaja Friedman notes that when The Lottery was published in the June 26, 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"...

Jackson's husband, the literary critic Stanley Edgar Hyman, wrote in his preface to a posthumous anthology of her work that "she consistently refused to be interviewed, to explain or promote her work in any fashion, or to take public stands and be the pundit of the Sunday supplements. She believed that her books would speak for her clearly enough over the years." Hyman insisted the darker aspects of Jackson's works were not, as some critics claimed, the product of "personal, even neurotic, fantasies", but that Jackson intended, as "a sensitive and faithful anatomy of our times, fitting symbols for our distressing world of the concentration camp and the Bomb", to mirror humanity's Cold War-era fears. Jackson may even have taken pleasure in the subversive impact of her work, as evidenced by Hyman's statement that she "was always proud that the Union of South Africa banned The Lottery, and she felt that they at least understood the story".

She is also well known for the 1959 novel The Haunting of Hill House, which was adapted in the 1963 Robert Wise film The Haunting."  -Wikipedia

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** NOTE : I WILL BE EMAILING MEMBERS ASKING YOU TO CONFIRM YOUR "YES" RSVP A FEW DAYS BEFORE THE MEETUP, WITH YOUR REPLY DUE NO LATER THAN APPROXIMATELY 24 HOURS BEFORE THE EVENT SO WE CAN GET A PRETTY ACCURATE HEADCOUNT. PLEASE REMEMBER TO CHANGE A "YES" RSVP TO A "NO" IF YOUR PLANS CHANGE, SO MEMBERS ON THE WAITING LIST HAVE A CHANCE TO READ THE BOOK. AND REMEMBER TO SEE THE "PAGES" LINK FOR THE NO-SHOW POLICY, IT'S STRICTLY ENFORCED. THANKS

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  • rachel

    I had a particularly great time this month - thanks everyone who helped make it a success. Couldn't do it without you all. :)

    June 8

  • Stuart

    It was my first time attending. a friendly, bright, and engaging group of people with whom to discuss the book and things beyond the book.

    1 · June 8

    • rachel

      Thanks Stuart glad you enjoyed it! Somehow I didn't realize it was your first time - sorry about that!

      June 8

  • Rebecca

    Great pick!

    April 6, 2014

  • Anthony O.

    Some true gems of the short story craft are held herein I think. One of my all time favorites. She is well known for The Haunting of Hill House for good reason. It's an amazing book. A lesser known work, The Sundial, is unnerving in the most delicious way.
    We Have Always Lived in the Castle is another winner.

    Well, great choice. Happy reading and see you there.

    April 6, 2014

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