Delightfully charming! You get a sense of how terrific a mom Shirley was by how she truly listens to her kids and encourages their imagination.
It’s been said that these essays of domestic hilarity are what inspired the genre most think of when you say the name Erma Bombeck, but it wouldn’t be something Ms. Jackson would have been too thrilled with, I don’t think. I bet she often thought this audience of her ‘stories’ beneath her contempt. But they sold and sold well. What’s an author to do?
It almost breaks your heart to read this and then right after, read her biography. No wait. It DID break my heart to read the bio right after enjoying these madcap loving little tales.
If you want to immerse yourself into fascinating and extremely talented writings of a complicated artist, study Shirley Jackson. First read her infamous short story The Lottery and then read this or Raising Demons (I haven’t read), then read We’ve Always Lived in the Castle (a favorite of mine; I want to read it again, especially after reading her biography), and then read Oppenheimer’s bio. And then, if you are like me, you’ll seek out everything Jackson ever wrote.
I am in the middle – and I jump around, as always – of her collection Just An Ordinary Day. Then I want to read The Road Through the Wall and then The Bird’s Nest and then…
Which Shirley Jackson book will YOU read next?