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Shirley Jackson

Shirley Hardie Jackson (December 14, 1916 – August 8, 1965) was an American writer, known for outstanding literary achievement in her works of gothic horror and mystery. In a career which spanned over two decades, Jackson composed six novels, two memoirs, and over 200 short stories. After publishing her debut novel in 1948, a semi-autobiographical account of her childhood, The Road Through the Wall, Jackson would garner public acclaim upon publication of her short story “The Lottery,” which details a secret, sinister underside to a bucolic American village.

She would continue to publish numerous short stories in literary journals and magazines throughout the 1950s, some of which were assembled and reissued in her 1953 memoir, Life Among the Savages. In 1959, Shirley Jackson’s novel The Haunting of Hill House was published, widely considered to be one of the greatest ghost stories ever written. Jackson has been cited as an influence on a diverse set of authors, including Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Sarah Water, Nigel Kneale, Joanne Harris, and Richard Matheson.