Those Who Are – and Those Who Are Not

Shirley Jackson in Love and Death

I came from a family that was not. This was not obvious at the time, we were so much like everyone around us, in the middle of  the Midwest. But now, in my old age, living in another country – I can clearly look back, and see the life that was not. That has not gone away – but become even more common.

So common that our intellectuals are not aware of it. But our novelists are. At least some of our novelists.

This review, by Joyce Carol Oates, brings out the horror of Jackson’s life. Her story was not unusual.

Most people live lives of quiet desperation. And no one finds this unusual.


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