Shirley Jackson Biography, Life, Interesting Facts


Shirley Jackson

Birthday :

December 14, 1916

Died On :

August 8, 1965

Also Known For :

Writer, Novelist

Birth Place :

San Francisco, California, United States of America

Zodiac Sign :


Shirley Jackson was an American author that is highly regarded for her great short stories as well as her novels. She is famous and notable for written the famous short story, The Lottery. Jackson grew basically in California before staying some time in New York. She started writing stories and poems while she was a teenager. However, she got herself shown to the world when her short story, Janice was published in a campus magazine. Upon graduation from the University, she settled with her husband in New York and became a full-time writer. Later, her stories were published all around the most well-known American magazines and later became a known person in the American literary scene. She made her debut with Come Dance with Me in Ireland.


Shirley Jackson was born to Leslie Jackson and Geraldine Jackson on the 14th day of December 1916 in San Francisco, California, US. She belonged to a middle-class family and had some comfortable childhood. However, no information was released as regards to her parents’ occupations. 

She grew up in a place that is now called Burlingame in California. She dabbed into the literary work at a very age, and as a teenager, he had written some short stories and poetries. While she was 17 years of age, her family relocated to New York where she went to high school. She graduated in 1934 and proceeded to University of Rochester before going to Syracuse University. She graduated with a BA six years later.



As a teenager when she started her writing career, Shirley Jackson was so much identified in passing messages to people with her works. She got herself published when her work was published at Syracuse University in a magazine. Her short story, Janice, was then published in the campus magazine. With that, she gains prominence among the established literati on campus and later helped establish a literary publication Specter at that time.  She later relocated to Greenwich Village with her husband in 1940. There, he became a professional writer writing with some odds works for support.

Shirley Jackson later became a contributor for an esteemed Publication houses, The New Yorker and The New Republic. She later came into limelight with her short story Come Dance with Me in Ireland. Many people gave accolades to this book and were chosen as the Best American Short Stories. Later, she wrote a story about a missing lady that disappeared at Bennington College. She called the story The Missing Girl. By 1948, she has become one of the prominent and famous writers. She is known for her The Lottery and The Road Through the Wall in 1948. The Lottery was a breakthrough and widely read by people around. She also titled a new work which was a collection of her short stories, The Adventures of James Harris.

She kept writing different novels and short stories. Shirley Jackson wrote different novels and short stories like The Bird’s Nest, One Ordinary Day with Peasants, among others in the 1950s. She kept writing and her fame as both a short story and a novel writer. In 1959, her short story which was regarded as one of the best-haunted house tales ever written, The Haunting Hill House. This book was later adapted into movies for public consumption. She also wrote another novel, We Have Always Lived in the Castle to satisfy the salivating people waiting to devour her novel. The book became a best-seller. She later got work as a review writer of children’s books for New York Herald Tribune.



New Yorker Magazine published her major work, The Lottery, her major work in 1948. This work happened to be one of the best stories so far and was translated into different languages. This work could be regarded as a turning point for her in life.



Being a mentor to a lot of young writers who are always ready to learn from established ones, Shirley Jackson was able to put a positive footprint on their chest. Before she died, she ensured that her works tackle a lot of things which include domestic experiences as well as supernatural things. She was known for always tackling provocative and chilling subject matters that were usually culturally incisive.

She married a literary critic, Stanley Edgar Hyman and had four children. She had a successful marriage as she had no cause to divorce her husband. She later died on August 8, 1965, after years of battling heart problem. Shirley Jackson died of heart failure. Two of her children later edited her unpublished work and published it as Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and other writing. This work was launched in August 2015 as a 50 years remembrance of her death.

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