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We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Written by Shirley Jackson

Part of the Penguin Modern Classics Series

We Have Always Lived in the Castle Synopsis

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. All Shirley Jackson's other novels, plus The Lottery and Other Stories, are available in Penguin Modern Classics. Shirley Jackson was born in California in 1916. When her short story The Lotterywas 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. '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 'If you haven't read We Have Always Lived in the Castle ... you have missed out on something marvellous' Neil Gaiman

We Have Always Lived in the Castle Press Reviews

A marvellous elucidation of life ... a story full of craft and full of mystery * The New York Times Book Review * A witch's brew of eerie power and startling novelty * The New York Times * 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 * We Have Always Lived in the Castle is Jackson's masterpiece ... Stunning -- Elaine Showalter For me, it is that unique and dreamlike book ... that stands as her masterpiece -- Jonathan Lethem So eerie, so disturbing, and not a wasted word, it has the kind of economy I wish I knew how to achieve -- Jonathan Coe A masterpiece of Gothic suspense -- Joyce Carol Oates The world of Shirley Jackson is eerie and unforgettable ... She is a true master -- A. M. Homes An amazing writer -- Neil Gaiman This novel brings back all my faith in terror and death. I can say no higher of it and her -- Dorothy Parker * Esquire * 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

Book Information

ISBN: 9780141191454
Publication date: 1st October 2009
Author: Shirley Jackson
Publisher: Penguin Classics an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 176 pages

About Shirley Jackson

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 ...

More About Shirley Jackson

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