We Have Always Lived in the Castle

When I’m asked about my favourite book I think of “We Have Always Lived in the Castle” by Shirley Jackson.

There is a Shirley Jackson award for fiction writers. She wrote more than fiction. She was an early Erma Bombeck, writing about herself and her family life with four children.

β€œ[L]et my reader who is puzzled by my awkward explanations close his eyes for no more than two minutes, and see if he does not find himself suddenly not a compact human being at all, but only a consciousness on a sea of sound and touch . . .”

β€œIt is only with the eyes open that a corporeal form returns, and assembles itself firmly around the hard core of sight.”

“I delight in what I fear.”

“I have always loved to use fear, to take it and comprehend it and make it work and consolidate a situation where I was afraid and take it whole and work from there.”

Have you read any of Shirley Jackson’s books or short stories?

1 thought on “We Have Always Lived in the Castle

  1. There’s a nice bookshop in Athlone which I had occasion to drop into from time to time last year. One nice thing was little notices on the shelves where the staff members had personally recommended books and then written there reasons.

    ‘We have always lived in the castle’ was the one with the most staff-notices beside it.

    Your recommendation has now pushed it up my reading list – I’m off to Bookmooch it.

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