Shirley Jackson

Life Among the Savages
  • Life Among the Savages

  • A darkly funny account of family life from the author of The Haunting of Hill House and The Lottery

    'Sometimes, in my capacity as a mother, I find myself sitting open-mouthed and terrified before my own children'

    As well as being a master of the macabre, Shirley Jackson was also a pitch-perfect chronicler of everyday family life. In Life Among the Savages, her caustically funny account of raising her children in a ramshackle house in Vermont, she deals with rats in the cellar, misbehaving imaginary friends, an oblivious husband and ever-encroaching domestic chaos, all described with wit, warmth and plenty of bite.

    'Jackson's family chronicles have a genuinely subversive aspect ... Read today, her pieces feel surprisingly modern - mainly because she refuses to sentimentalize or idealize motherhood' The New York Times Book Review

    'Comic masterpieces, laced with hints of the discontent that lies beneath' Guardian

Shirley Jackson was born in California in 1916. When her short story The Lottery was first published in the New Yorker in 1948, readers were so horrified they sent her hate mail; it has since become one of the most iconic American stories of all time. Her first novel, The Road Through the Wall, was published in the same year and was followed by Hangsaman, The Bird's Nest, The Sundial, The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, widely seen as her masterpiece. In addition to her dark, brilliant novels, she wrote lightly fictionalized magazine pieces about family life with her four children and her husband, the critic Stanley Edgar Hyman. Shirley Jackson died in 1965.