Shirley Jackson and the Witchcraft of Writing

“In 1962, when Shirley Jackson published her acknowledged masterpiece, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, she was at the height of her fame. She ranked among the most highly regarded writers in America, required reading on literature courses and the recipient of literary prizes, her work regularly anthologised. Her novels and short stories had all been hothouse flowers, exotic blooms from the delicate and violent psyches of her strange protagonists, but this last novel would rise like the black orchid among them: sinister, beautiful, perverse. Writing it brought her to a state of nervous collapse.” Victoria Best writes more about Shirley Jackson, her life and We Have Always Lived In The Castle at Open Letters Monthly. (via Kate Laity)

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