Reading About Shirley Jackson With My Familiars

Minnie and Flo sleeping on and around me while I was reading

I’m reading the new Shirley Jackson biography by Ruth Franklin.  I’ve been a fan of Jackson’s since high school.  After reading “We Have Always Lived In The Castle” I was hooked.

But I never knew much about her.

Reading about her life, how she was an outsider within her own family and unpopular at school helps me understand why I was so drawn to her stories, which deal with these issues again and again.  Somehow I never consciously thought of her stories that way.  She also had a genuine interest in witchcraft, which the author suggests may have helped her to feel she had some more control or power over her own life.

The thing I didn’t know about Jackson, that is particularly interesting to me at this point in my life, was her dedication to her writing. In an interview in the New York Post in 1962, she was asked if her family supported her writing. Her answer was, “They couldn’t stop me.”



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