In her lecture at The Mount, Ruth Franklin will introduce us to her long-awaited biography, Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life, in which she establishes Jackson as a towering figure in American literature and revives the life and work of a neglected master. Still known to millions only as the author of the “The Lottery,” Shirley Jackson (1916–1965) remains curiously absent from the American literary canon. A genius of literary suspense, Jackson plumbed the cultural anxiety of postwar America better than anyone. Based on a wealth of previous undiscovered correspondence and dozens of new interviews, Franklin reveals the tumultuous life and inner-darkness of the author behind such classics as The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Placing Jackson within an American Gothic tradition of Hawthorne and Poe, Franklin demonstrates how her unique contribution to this genre came from her focus on “domestic horror” drawn from an era hostile to women.
The lecture, which will be held in the historic Stable, will be followed by a tea and book signing. The doors will open at 10:15 a.m.
Ruth Franklin is a book critic and former editor at The New Republic. She has written for many publications, including The New Yorker, Harper’s, The New York Times Book Review, The New York Review of Books, and Salmagundi, to which she contributes a regular film column. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in biography, a Cullman Fellowship at the New York Public Library, a Leon Levy Fellowship in biography, and the Roger Shattuck Prize for Criticism. Her first book, A Thousand Darknesses: Lies and Truth in Holocaust Fiction (Oxford University Press, 2011), was a finalist for the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Refund requests will only be honored if made more than one week prior to lecture date.