“There’s a child who appears in her stories called Laurie—of course, Laurence Hyman is her son, who went on to edit this collection. These letters are from her teenage years all the way to the end of her life. There’s a letter to herself, about how alienating it is to be a writer. She reflects on the reception of her work that is really interesting, in terms of the history of women’s writing. She talks about her husband’s colleagues being in raptures as she reads from her newest novel for 30 minutes, and then the very next day she’s dismissed again as just the wife of Professor Hyman. So they tell us more about her, but also the ways in which women were forced to carve out space for themselves at this time, and how conscious she was of her reception—and how resistant to this idea that there’s a dichotomy between being a horror author and a mother and a wife.” Read more...
The Best Shirley Jackson Books