Posted on 08/04/2021 at 11:28 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

A collection of more than 500 letters from author Shirley Jackson was published last month, under the guidance of her son, Laurence Hyman.

Perhaps you’ve already read it (or an excerpt from it) — but if not, Veronica Esposito says, you might be surprised by what it reveals.

The Letters of Shirley Jackson is not a treasure trove of literary gossip and scandal; rather, it’s a posthumous autobiography of sorts.

In it, Jackson comes across as both extraordinary — writing such memorable works as The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle while also doing everything expected of a wife and mother in her era — and extraordinarily human.

And this is crucial, says Esposito, given that we’re seeing more portrayals of Jackson in pop culture.

Read more about Hyman’s vision for The Letters of Shirley Jackson in the Guardian.

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