A new biography of Shirley Jackson, author of beloved ghost story The Haunting of Hill House, seeks to dismiss the standard relegation of the writer to middlebrow spookiness and instead reveal her longstanding proto-feminist intentions.
Biographer and book critic Ruth Franklin’s recently released A Rather Haunted Life asks of its readers that previous conceptions of the “Virginia Werewoolf” of horror, as Jackson was once dubbed, be set aside and the author’s behavior and creative output be reassessed. For, as Zoë Heller recently wrote in The New Yorker, Jackson was in fact “a major figure in the American Gothic tradition and a significant, proto-feminist chronicler of mid-twentieth-century women’s lives.” […]
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