Shirley Jackson's masterpiece: the deliciously dark and funny story of Merricat, tomboy teenager, beloved sister - and possible lunatic.
'Her greatest book ...at once whimsical and harrowing, a miniaturist's charmingly detailed fantasy sketched inside a mausoleum ...Through depths and depths and bloodwarm depths we fall, until the surface is only an eerie gleam high above, nearly forgotten; and the deeper we sink, the deeper we want to go' Donna Tartt, author of The Goldfinch
Living in the Blackwood family home with only her sister Constance and her Uncle Julian for company, Merricat just wants to preserve their delicate way of life. But ever since Constance was acquitted of murdering the rest of the family, the world isn't leaving the Blackwoods alone. And when Cousin Charles arrives, armed with overtures of friendship and a desperate need to get into the safe, Merricat must do everything in her power to protect the remaining family.
This Penguin edition includes an afterword by the acclaimed novelist Joyce Carol Oates.
About the Author
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 five more: 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 her sleep in 1965 at the age of 48.
Her greatest book ... at once whimsical and harrowing, a miniaturist's charmingly detailed fantasy sketched inside a mausoleum ... Through depths and depths and bloodwarm depths we fall, until the surface is only an eerie gleam high above, nearly forgotten; and the deeper we sink, the deeper we want to go -- Donna Tartt
An amazing writer -- Neil Gaiman
The world of Shirley Jackson is eerie and unforgettable ... She is a true master -- A. M. Homes
A masterpiece of Gothic suspense -- Joyce Carol Oates
So eerie, so disturbing, and not a wasted word, it has the kind of economy I wish I knew how to achieve -- Jonathan Coe
For me, it is that unique and dreamlike book ... that stands as her masterpiece -- Jonathan Lethem
We Have Always Lived in the Castle is Jackson's masterpiece ... Stunning -- Elaine Showalter
Manages the ironic miracle of convincing the reader that a house inhabited by a lunatic, a poisoner, and a pyromaniac is a world more rich in sympathy, love and subtlety than the world outside * Time *
A witch's brew of eerie power and startling novelty * The New York Times *
A marvellous elucidation of life ... a story full of craft and full of mystery * The New York Times Book Review *
Series: Penguin Modern Classics
Number Of Pages: 158
Published: 9th November 2009
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 12.8
Weight (kg): 0.14
Edition Number: 1