Critical Bibliography of Shirley Jackson, American Writer (1919-1965) - Reviews, Criticism, Adaptations

Author: Reinsch, Paul
This is the single most complete and useful source for locating secondary materials pertaining to Shirley Jackson and her work. It includes both reviews from the time of publication and critical works. The annotations and introduction contribute to Jackson scholarship by arguing that some of her fiction has been misread and mislabeled due to the perceived meaning of the signifier ‘Shirley Jackson’. No previously published study catalogs the texts which include stories by Jackson. Includes a list of anthologies, and the comments editors make about the stories and Jackson herself, a section on Jackson’s work in textbooks, and a section on adaptations of her work.


“His introductory essay offers an engaging and wide-ranging discussion of the author, her work, and its reception. His careful and illuminating distinctions between fantasy, the supernatural and the Gothic provide useful categories for understanding her work and its reception. With perceptive readings of major works . . . Reinsch adds his own critical perspective as a resource for the reader. He makes excellent use of reader response theory, rendered in a way that will satisfy critics familiar with this approach and that is also accessible to more general readers. . . . The annotated bibliography is exhaustively researched and effectively presented. Annotations describe each work clearly and succinctly, even as they are also enlivened by Reinsch’s sharp critical sensibility and deeply informed readings of Shirley Jackson.” – Barbara Melosh

“A thorough introduction gives a solid overview of Jackson’s works and seeks to correct the misconception that she was really sort of a one-shot writer. . . . This introductory essay sets a useful tone for an instructor who wishes to know something about Jackson before presenting a text to a class or for a reader who becomes intrigued by one facet of this multi-faced writer. I certainly will profit from rereading the introduction before I approach a Jackson text in the classroom again. . . . One of the more relevant units is the chapter on gender-centered studies, which run from 1983 to 1998. This chapter provides a good overview-history of specifically feminist readings of Jackson. It is interesting to note that Reinsch does not find any gender-centered reading prior to 1983. . . . Out of the myriad annotations and comments grows a picture of a complex author whose reputation tied largely to one work has led to her other works being underestimated and both her works and her life not being consistently analyzed or understood. . . . This study adds to the understanding as well as the reputation of Shirley Jackson. . . “ – David B. Merrell

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
Preface by Joan Wylie Hall
Foreword; Introduction
Primary Texts
Reviews of Texts from the Time of Publication and Reprint Reviews
Gender-Centered Studies
Critical Studies of “The Lottery”
Studies of Individual Texts Other than “The Lottery”
Studies of Multiple Texts
Mentions and Unelaborated Comments
Anthologized Jackson
Jackson in Textbooks
Interviews and Biographical Comments
Previously Published Bibliographies
Bibliographies and Lists which Include Work about Jackson