Life Among the Savages
A darkly funny account of family life from the author of The Haunting of Hill House and The Lottery
‘Sometimes, in my capacity as a mother, I find myself sitting open-mouthed and terrified before my own children’
As well as being a master of the macabre, Shirley Jackson was also a pitch-perfect chronicler of everyday family life. In Life Among the Savages, her caustically funny account of raising her children in a ramshackle house in Vermont, she deals with rats in the cellar, misbehaving imaginary friends, an oblivious husband and ever-encroaching domestic chaos, all described with wit, warmth and plenty of bite.
‘Jackson’s family chronicles have a genuinely subversive aspect … Read today, her pieces feel surprisingly modern – mainly because she refuses to sentimentalize or idealize motherhood’ The New York Times Book Review
‘Comic masterpieces, laced with hints of the discontent that lies beneath’ Guardian
A housewife-mother's frustrations are transformed by a deft twist of the wrist into, not a grim account of disintegration and madness, still less the poisoning of her family, but light-hearted comedy -- Joyce Carol Oates Charming ... You'll see every parenting stance you've ever adopted, every parent-story trope you've ever told or heard, expressed more perfectly than you ever could have ... One of the great memoirists of family life * Slate * Warm and funny ... Read today, her pieces feel surprisingly modern - mainly because Jackson refuses to sentimentalize or idealize motherhood * The New York Times * As warm as it is hilarious and believable ... Never has the state of domestic chaos been so perfectly illuminated * The New York Times Book Review * Is it ironic or fitting that some of the greatest American writing about that venerated and difficult activity, motherhood, comes from a horror writer? ... There is something rather magical about how Jackson managed to so transform suffering into comic masterpieces * Guardian *
Book experts at your service
What are you looking for?