Just an Ordinary Day The Uncollected Stories Of Shirley

Just an Ordinary Day The Uncollected Stories Of Shirley Jackson [PDF / EPUB] Just an Ordinary Day The Uncollected Stories Of Shirley Jackson Acclaimed in her own time for her short story “The Lottery” and her novel The Haunting of Hill House—classics ranking with the work of Edgar Allan Poe—Shirley Jackson blazed a path for contemp Acclaimed in her own time for her short Ordinary Day MOBI ☆ story “The Lottery” and her novel The Haunting of Hill House—classics ranking with the work of Edgar Allan Poe—Shirley Jackson blazed a path for contemporary writers with her explorations of evil madness and cruelty Soon after her untimely death in Jackson’s children discovered Just an Epub / a treasure trove of previously unpublished and uncollected stories many of which are brought together in this remarkable collection Here are tales of torment psychological aberration and the macabre as well as those that display her lighter touch with humorous scenes of domestic life Reflecting the range and complexity of Jackson’s talent Just an Ordinary Day PDF Ç an Ordinary Day reaffirms her enduring influence and celebrates her singular voice rich with magic and resonance  Praise for Just an Ordinary Day   “Jackson at her best plumbing the extraordinary from the depths of mid twentieth century common Just an Ordinary Day is a gift to a new generation”— San Francisco Chronicle an Ordinary Day The Uncollected MOBI :ß  Praise for Shirley Jackson   “Jackson’s work exerts an enduring spell”—Joyce Carol Oates   “Shirley Jackson’s stories are among the most terrifying ever written”—Donna Tartt   “An amazing writer If you haven’t read Jackson you have missed out on something marvelous”—Neil Gaiman   “Shirley Jackson is unparalleled as a leader in the field of beautifully written uiet cumulative shudders”—Dorothy Parker   “An author who not only writes beautifully but who knows what there is in this world to be scared of”—Francine Prose   “The world of Shirley Jackson is eerie and unforgettable”—A M Homes   “Jackson enjoyed notoriety and commercial success within her lifetime and yet it still hardly seems like enough for a writer so singular an Ordinary Day The Uncollected MOBI :ß When I meet readers and other writers of my generation I find that mentioning her is like uttering a holy name”—Victor LaValle.

10 thoughts on “Just an Ordinary Day The Uncollected Stories Of Shirley Jackson

  1. says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of previously unpublished and uncollected stories They range from fictionalized humorous irreverently told family anecdotes; to a tale of bigotry and intolerance as chilling and still relevant as anything Jackson has written; to a story whose first paragraph misleads you when it turns into one of the most delightful stories you’ve read; to the last that seems to be revenge upon a certain type of New England villager Jackson probably knewA couple of the stories have the same surreal nightmarish plot; but they are different enough in tone that it’s not bothersome Also included are two very different versions of the same story a Bluebeard retelling—both good the second better—that would be useful in a writing classAs a longtime Shirley Jackson fan I first started this book shortly after it was published then set it aside after reading only a few stories for who knows what reason Having recently reread The Lottery and Other Stories I craved Jackson so picked this up again I didn’t want to set it aside this time I have other volumes of her work waiting for me and I am anxious to get to them Unlike the other collection I’m currently reading am I right Howard?

  2. says:

    IT'S A LONG REVIEW FOLKS BUT WORTH ITWhat a fascinating collection Perhaps not a good choice for an idle reader of Jackson looking for something to chew on after The Lottery that choice would be The Lottery Adventures of the Demon Lover or possibly The Magic of Shirley Jackson I have not read the latter but for those who have commenced through the superb The Haunting of Hill House and the wondrous We Have Always Lived in the Castle and are wondering what to read next here's a solid option And the interesting thing is that it will give you both what you want out of Jackson while also challenging your perceptions of her as a writer and how you take that challenge will depend on your tastesThe concept is fairly easy this is half a collection of Jackson's short fiction that has previously been uncollected and half a collection drawn from a box of manuscripts discovered after her death And that's where the really interesting part comes in what are these pieces? Juvenilia? In at least once case certainly But they also comprise experiments and rough drafts and unpolished texts and almost certainly works intended to be returned to but abandoned To some this will make half the book less than worthwhile but such a dismissive attitude will seriously undermine your enjoyment If you're interested in a great writer's works or are a writer yourself you can certainly gain uite a bit by reading these texts and make no mistake they are all complete texts well one actually is thoroughly undeveloped but still whole if you get my meaning and gain respect for Jackson's talent and scopeThe most productive way to group these stories for review and yes I'm going to review them all as is my wont it will be long is into two tones The Light and The Dark and this itself is generally informative because it's good to be reminded unless one has read Raising Demons or Life Among the Savages that Jackson was not a horror writer but instead was a lit writer with interests that embraced both sides of the human euation And she was a working short fiction writer who wrote stories to sell to magazines So again if you think you'd only be interested in Jackson's dark work here well this review can serve as a guide and that's your prerogative but you'll be missing the opportunity to read a top writer in solid control of her craft turning out some funny and powerful work that will broaden your conception of writing Not all of it is successful of course but that's why I write these reviews Among Jackson's strengths was her economy of words and observation skills her sharpness for lack of a better word and the weaker of the abandoned texts are work that hasn't been properly stropped to a fine edge yet or whose focus is unclear and undeveloped and occasionally so cut back as to be a little too spare on story hooksSo let's start with The Light Jackson had obvious interestsconcernsthemes as a writer that she repeatedly made her focus Men and women and their relationships boys and girls and how their minds develop family dynamics social status and interpersonal interactions and class these are themes that turn up again and again And these are usually subtly explored in a number of ways from differing viewpoints Sometimes out and out comedy sometime wry neutrality or charming tale spinning uite a number of them were written for and published in women's magazines of the time like Mademoiselle Woman's Home Companion and Good HousekeepingAs I said not everything here is excellent even with the caveat framing of half being abandoned texts So let's get those out of the way first When Barry Was Seven is the only throw away here essentially a humorous transcript of a discussion about books and reading between Jackson and her husband and their young son it reads like placeholder notes for Raising Demons I Don't Kiss Strangers seems an early experiment in sharpening Jackson's dialogue skills and centers on a break up between a college age couple In The Very Hot Sun In Bermuda a flirty college girl has an extended discussion with the married painter she's having an affair with I'm guessing the point is the contrast between the passionate devotion of painter who will likely have his marriage destroyed and lose his children and the girl's treatment of the whole thing as a romantic lark likely pursued to gain her an easy painting for her art class that she can pass off as her own work But that's me guessing Deck The Halls seems to be about class consciousness and a good deed performed on Christmas Eve Fine but bland as there's no conflict or real humor rather Hallmark card y On The House is something like a Raymond Carver piece a blind man and his young wife scam a liuor store cashier out of some money perhaps it was an experiment in a different approach although this was a published piece but it didn't work for me Little Old Lady In Great Need is somewhat similar to the preceding story set during the war rationing years it has a very proper upper class great grandmother instruct her young daughter on how a real Lady should and shouldn't behave as she bargains a butcher out of the only piece of meat he has in the shop his own evening's steak Okay but nothing to write home about Alone In A Den Of Cubs is a light domestic comedy about being Den mother to a Cub Scout troop and observations on how young boys' minds work Again pretty slight but not unenjoyable The Omen reuses elements from some darker tales leaving your life to chance and a random encounter with a street advertising campaign and tells of a woman faced with a matrimonial problem who decides to use a randomly acuired list of strange notations to drive her movements and thus let fate answer the uestion Light cute thinOn a slightly better if still somewhat problematic level are stories like Party Of Boys which is similar to Cubs as it has a suburban mother put in charge of a gaggle of young kids she must wrangle and thus puts it in the orbit of Life Among the Savages but adds a level of subtle but pointed class observation as the mom discovers that the town ne're do well shares her son's birthday and nobody is going to throw that juvenile delinuent a party Funny and well done The Sister is a bit like a humorous barbed drawing room sketch by Saki as an adult brother and sister she marrying below her station he secretly married below his station wrangle in the family dynamic Cute Portrait is one of those pieces that someone else will have to decipher for me as it's another experiment little scenes interspersed with lines from a poem or song Possibly of interest for fans of Merricat from We Have Always Lived in the Castle with the line they want me to comb my hair Gnarly The King Of The Jungle is an odd story about a spoiled young girl who uses her extra special birthday present as an intermediary to take petty revenge on the put upon housemaid More class concerns certainly but it's hard to see the point as nothing than spoiled little girls can be cruel unless it's subtle than I'm giving it credit for and went right over my head My Recollections Of SB Fairchild is a domestic comedy written in a dry droll understated way a record of the purchase of a tape recorder a big ticket item at the time that subseuently breaks and how department store bureaucracy sets in motion a domino chain of frustrating correspondence Funny My Uncle In The Garden is a cute modern fable involving a visit to the country cottage of two doddering somewhat cantankerous relatives one of whom has made an unthoughtful if minor deal with the Devil who seems a rather understanding chap although he never appears in the story proper If the final payoff of the plot of Mrs Melville Makes A Purchase is familiar as a well circulated urban legend the execution is excellent although second caveat perhaps a bit too long and it contains some very funny writing as a stuffy fussy wealthy woman goes shopping among the lesser folk Some awful members of the literati congregate during the imminent death of a literary giant in the acidic A Great Voice Stilled but they're all concerned with themselves nice social observation and wry comedyThere are a number of good solid Light stories as well The first of the previously unknown pieces The Smoking Room is a fun deal with the Devil story in which a smart young college girl outwits Old Nick yet again with some legal chicanery Summer Afternoon shows Jackson's mastery of evoking the mindset of children as two little girls tour the neighborhood the interesting thing about this story is that it just might be a very very subtle ghost story as well Indians Live In Tents is similar to Fairchild above an epistolary tale this one charting the cause and effect relations between a group of unrelated people leasing and subleasing rooms and furniture from each other funny and an interesting window into how people got on with the process of living at a certain moment in time Dinner For A Gentleman and Family Magician are similar stories both frothy domestic comedies somewhat like Mary Poppins or Thorne Smith's work but with household magic themes and presaging popular versions of the same like I DREAM OF JEANNIE BEWITCHED and NANNY AND THE PROFESSOR In the first a young woman gets magical help in preparing a meal for an eligible suitor and in the second a fatherless family has a wonderfully magical maid enter their lives Charming The eually funny Arch Criminal is a somewhat savage take on DENNIS THE MENACE specifically about how mothers can be completely blind to their son's less than wholesome ualities when they've got criminal mischief and false repentance down to an art One of the nice aspects of a story like Come To The Fair is that since Jackson gets dark writing about women on the route to spinsterhood an unexpected upbeat ending gives you a splendid surprise and this piece about a lonely middle aged teacher being forced into reading fortunes at the community charity fair and discovering hidden talents in herself and being rewarded for it by fate is very nice indeed My Grandmother And The World Of Cats is also interesting in this respect another cute domestic comedy about an old lady's problematic relationship with the long list of felines in her life it ends on an oddly serious and possibly even dark note with just one turn of phrase Maybe It Was The Car should be read by all women who are both mothers and writers as it sketches out a probably very familiar instinct that takes hold of you when you just need to escape your domestic role and inject a little creative adventure into your life The Wishing Dime is about exactly that item and what two little girls do with it Jackson has a real talent for capturing small details of family and domestic life and dialogue which also comes out in About Two Nice People where mistiming and unfortunate minor circumstances can bring two people together in something resembling anger but which turns out to be love IOU has an attempt by an old women to work out a debt with some small children over a destroyed garden blossom into a whole new commerce system in a small town one that grows exponentially and brings the community together very nice The Most Wonderful Thing on the other hand is both human and profoundly sad as two women one middle aged and one young share a hospital room together because of birthing problems This story also has an extremely wonderful small moment near its end involving the room nurse that I greatly appreciatedJackson dabbles with the supernatural in The Very Strange House Next Door aka Strangers In Town which has a subtly Addams Family esue household or perhaps they're related to Bradbury's Elliots move into a conservative little New England town The maid acts strangely on top of the family even having a maid which is shocking in itself the family has odd furniture they're vegetarians and maybe their cat talks as well Such benign and innocuous strangeness cannot stand and the blue blooded biddies of the hypocritical gossip committee soon get to work driving wonder out of the town Charming but the small town venom is so stingingly drawn it burns a bitThe best story on the Light side here is undoubtedly Journey With A Lady A nine year old boy makes his first train trip by himself and ends up talking to and unexpectedly helping out an interesting lady with a secret Charming compact with the usual excellent eye for children's dialogue and thought processes this story deserves to be better knownAnd then there's The Dark side of Shirley Jackson's short fiction It's undeniable that Jackson's problems with depression and melancholia informed her work as did her fascination with social and familial dynamics Hypocrisy and resentment also recur again and again She seems fascinated not just by men and women but why men kill women and why women kill men and why lovers kill each other and why people kill strangers and why humans hurt each other in cruel ways And she couldn't stop herself writing about it sometimes in painfully honest psychological detail and sometimes in odd bemusementThe weakest of these stories are experiments in other forms Devil Of A Tale is a flash fiction like parable about a deal between The Devil and a woman that will produce an heir for the Prince of Darkness Despite her cagey planning though the woman's plans are undone by the simple truth that some sons just don't love their mothers Slight Lord Of The Castle shows Jackson experimenting with the Gothic style which she obviously liked reading but all that this story about a a noblemen burned at the stake his vengeful son a previously unknown brother the castle on the hill and some Satanic rituals proves is that Gothics do not work when stripped back into Jackson's terse style An interesting oddly bloodless failureThe Mouse has a husband's life run by his domineering wife until their new abode proves to have problems with vermin nothing really changes except his realization of just how cruel his spouse is Unremarkable but it has some nice dialogue work Before Autumn is one of those Jackson stories that is so stripped back that you finish it wondering if you've missed the point perhaps indicative of why it ended up in a box what we initially take as a woman planning an affair with a teenage handyman may actually be her plotting her husband's indirect murder An interesting idea imperfectly executed The most surprisingly uneven story here is The Missing Girl something I've been looking forward to reading since I'd heard it was inspired by the real world disappearance of a Bennington Vermont student in 1946 see here which also inspired Jackson's novel Hangsaman which I haven't read Reset to a girl's summer camp Missing has an oddly absurd and comic tone on the surface all the counselors and troops are named after various fairy tale and children's story characters but underneath is a recurrent dark and bleak Jackson theme the girlwoman who left so little impression on those around her that she seems to have barely existed at all see also Eleanor Vance from The Haunting of Hill House It's not a bad story just not what I was expecting and a bit underwhelmingPLEASE SEE FIRST COMMENT BELOW FOR THE CONTINUATION INCLUDING ALL THE GOOD NASTY STUFF

  3. says:

    Bizarre compelling fascinating eerie melodic gentle angry and lyrical

  4. says:

    What a great collection It contains than 50 stories which are divided in two parts the first part consists of previously unpublished stories most of them are really short just 2 5 pages This part was a bit of a mixed bag some stories were really good some not so much But the second part which consists of previously uncollected stories that have been published in magazines like The New Yorker Ladies' Home Journal Playboy and Fantasy and Science Fiction was absolutely brilliant If you haven't read anthing by Jackson before it would be better to start with The Lottery and Other Stories or one of her novels But if you're already a fan I'm sure you'll love this collection

  5. says:

    Shirley Jackson in many ways has freuently been made a victim of her own brilliance and success Nowhere is this perfectly framed than in this gigantic tome of previous uncollected short stories many of which are also previously unpublished She had the ability to craft perfect gems I mean it has to be hard to sit down at the keyboard with charismatic and terrifying works such as The Lottery looming over you and say and what now? Shirley Jackson was a paradox in many ways On the one hand she was a chain smoking housecoat wearing boiled coffee drinking mid Twentieth Century housewife and mother; on the other a writer who possessed uncanny insight into the nature and character of We who muddle through this modern society we've created as if we truly know what we're up to an insight to my mind very similar to Hitchcock's If anything this collection is a perfect snapshot of a great 20th Century author at work literally Many of these stories in particular the light romantic offerings or the humorous accounts of family life were written with business like precision for various popular mid century magazines and might surprise the reader familiar only with Ms Jackson's macabre oeuvre Here are snarky little tales like The Smoking Room a humorous twist on selling one's soul to the Dark One written while she was in college alongside offerings such as the deceptive and darkly ironic One Ordinary Day with Peanuts which offers a most uniue take on our notions of Good and Evil written at the height of her powers Lovingly curated by her family and Estate this collection is a feast for fans clocking in at 50 tales and also a perfect way for those unfamiliar with her work to sample all the shadows that made Shirley Jackson the genius she was Dive in and enjoy

  6. says:

    Is there anything better than short stories by Shirley Jackson? Don't answer you fool That was totally a trick uestion There is clearly nothing better This book is half unpublished stories found in an old trunk years after she died and half previously uncollected short stories from various other publicationsI am constantly amazed at the way Ms Jackson could make the banal terrifying and domestic life frightening I'm a huge Stephen King fan and I definitely see her shadow looming large over all that he does Well the good stuff anywayI cannot recommend this collection highly enough I thought I had read all of her work and to discover these new stories was truly a gift

  7. says:

    I love Shirley Jackson's stories and novels she's one of my absolute favorite writers and normally when I feel that way about a writer I'd like the opportunity to have books of their writing published even posthumously as this collections of stories was brought out long after her death Unfortunately this is all of Jackson's juvenile work from when she was learning how to write stories Many of them are uite badly done overly sentimental structurally awkward conceptually unrealized and many suffer from an abundance of youthful cliche I was actually upset that such a book was produced for mass market consumption seeing how it would be in the interest of Jackson scholars rather than general readership However many people here at Goodreads appear to have liked this collection uite a bit so my response to this book may be particularly singular Like I said I love Jackson's work but these aren't illustrative of her best work the creepy stuff which it seems many people who liked these stories many of which feel only half finished dislike I'd take it out of the library before making a purchase on sheer love of the author alone in this case

  8. says:

    I've really fallen for Shirley Jackson's short stories It fascinates me how they're set in such a specific ’4050s era often either among young women in a city setting that's newly friendly to women on their own or among small town folks in a particular kind of idealized 1950s setting marked by funny provincialism and a deeply nasty streak of malice and gossip This collection has both types and mixes published and unpublished work and it's a real gem An absolute favorite is Dinner For A Gentleman which has a clumsy young woman who can't cook backing herself into a corner to impress a food snob and a sort of magical grandmother figure saving the day And Nightmare is a particularly surreal story that does feel like a nightmare with a bizarre out there ending The Very Strange House Next Door feels like a Neil Gaiman short story — not the first time I've thought that about Jackson's writing—and All She Said Was Yes is a very subtle horror story to rival The Lottery I love how Jackson draws characters especially children with their weird brand of intense sincerity and simplicity and judgmental older folks with their Everyone should know what I know but I wouldn't be rude by telling them attitudes She's a master of simple characterization entirely in terms of dialogue and a few bare descriptors I'd recommend this book just for entertainment reading but it could also double as a writing class in how to cut to the heart of a story uickly and establish who characters are efficiently and thoroughly without wasted detail

  9. says:

    Unlike The Lottery where the stories collected followed a distinct theme Just an Ordinary Day has little to unite the tales within The collection is made up half of unpublished stories and half of uncollected stories thus becoming a best of the obscure of Shirley Jackson Do not balk at the fact that stories have scarcely seen the light of day the fact they hadn't been collected until recently is in some ways a travestyThe stories consist of a whole slew of genres There are the classic family stories including one hilarious one about how to deal with unruly Cub Scouts there are supernatural stories horror stories and simply unsettling stories of day to day life One of the interesting facets of the book is the fact that the same themes and characters pop up time and time again I am also rather pleased to say that at one point two versions of the same story were put side by side thus allowing a look into how Shirley Jackson revised her stories and perfected them over timeI highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Shirley Jackson's writing or indeed anyone who writes and treasures short stories This is a very interesting look into the writing of one who is a truly shining example of that medium

  10. says:

    Shirley Jackson is one of my favorite writers While these stories may not be her absolute best I adore the restraint with which she writes and the undeniable feeling of dread one gets when reading her stories I read her short story that was turned into the movie The Birds and have to say that for me the story was far creepier than the movie as it was told with remarkable uietness and yes restraint Of course don't miss The Lottery

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