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Life among the savages ; Raising demons

(Part of the Jacksons Series)

This description may be from another edition of this product. Although now better known for her haunting fiction, in the 1950's Shirley Jackson charmed millions with her best-selling domestic reminiscences, Life Among the Savages (1953) and Raising Demons...

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Customer Reviews

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Before there were mommy bloggers, there was Shirley Jackson

A wonderful chance to own both of Jackson's domestic memoirs in one, to trace the Hyman family from their apartment in New York to their homes in Vermont, along with pets and a box full of orphaned sporting equipment that never really seems to belong anywhere. Jackson was a loving chronicler of family life, which might surprise her short story readers, as her stories tend towards the chilling reversal. There are plenty of reversals in these books, but they are comic in nature. Jackson excels at capturing the circling around of family life, the repetition, the endlessness of certain games, arguments and happenings. Her treatment of birthday parties, Little League games, shopping, cooking, enduring, is classic, familiar and most of all loving. She also writes at length of her family pets, the ways and vagaries of animals that possibly no one but the animal's owner could love. This is also an interesting portrait of small town family life in decades long past, and it's a shock to read how autonomous her kids were, what the costs of things were, how everyone came home for lunch every day. And of course everyone is always smoking and drinking merrily away, because times were different back then. Writers are by nature observers. When Shirley Jackson brings her sharp eye to bear on her own days spent as wife and mother, you feel so let in, so privileged as a reader to see this intimately into an aspect of someone's real life. I love her fiction, but understand why these books brought her a completely different group of admirers.
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