Monday, January 16, 2023

Week 3 – The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

Welcome to 2023!  On Mondays this year, let’s discuss and have fun with books. No I’m not writing book reviews. But this website is for writers, and writers like books right? So let’s have FUN with books!

Week 3 – The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

This short story was published by The New Yorker magazine on June 26, 1948.  You can read it here

This site gives a good analysis

On at least one list, The Lottery is the scariest short story ever written

Shirley Jackson also wrote The Haunting of Hill House, which is included here as the scariest book ever written

Here are some definitions and synonyms for the word “lottery”

“A drawing of lots in which prizes are distributed to the winners among persons buying a chance.”

door prize.
game of chance.
luck of the draw.

Here is the California lottery winner’s handbook, which gives information and advice to people who win.

The federal IRS withholds 24% of all winnings for income taxes.

Here’s a calculator to determine how much of the money you’ll see under both the lump-sum payout and the annual payout, no matter which of the 50 states you live in

Now of course none of the above relates to the story The Lottery because it’s not a positive or desirable thing to be the winner of THAT lottery!

Have you read The Lottery? What did you think of it? Have you ever won any lottery? Tell us in the comments!


Steven Arellano Rose Jr. said...

I read The Lottery for a college English course years ago. It wasn't really my type of suspense story but I thought it was brilliantly written.

I'm reading the Haunting of Hill House. While that's also brilliantly written and scary so far I haven't found it the scariest haunted house story. So far the scariest to me has been Steven King's The Shining. However, I haven't finished Shirley Jackson's book so that can change.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

I read The Lottery years ago, and while I'm not sure it's the scariest story ever written, it was certainly sobering. Shirley Jackson was such an interesting writer, because she also wrote a short story collection (name eludes me, but it was full of probing social commentary without being preachy), and two memoirs that were really funny about raising her kids.

Dena Pawling said...

In my opinion, everything written by Stephen King is WAY TOO SCARY for me!

Shirley Jackson's stuff, to me, isn't so much scary as creepy and unsettling. Still not what I usually like to read tho.

I'm interested in learning that she's written memoirs. Thanks for that! I'll have to check them out.