Oh, DAPHNE. Daphne. "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again." THAT'S how you open a novel, guys! Right there. Make it count. What's Manderley? Why aren't you there now? Why are you telling me about it? We have so many questions, and we've barely used our old-timey paper knives to cut open the first few leaves. (Just kidding! This book is from the 1930s, the leaves were already cut for you. Which is good, really, because I don't even like to have to turn my Kindle on, and instead just leave it in sleep-mode all the time, you know?) No, the first chapter of the novel is not [...]
Top row: Dorothy Parker, Zora Neale Hurston, Shirley Jackson, Gael Greene. Bottom row: Patti Smith, Susan Sontag, Tama Janowitz, Kate Christensen.
In 1967, Patti Smith wrote in Just Kids, she was considering a move to New York City. "I had enough money for a one-way ticket. I planned to hit all the bookstores in the city. This seemed ideal work to me." Twenty-seven years before her, in 1940, Shirley Jackson and her soon-to-be husband Stanley Hyman graduated from Syracuse and moved to New York. According to this biography, "For quite some time they had known exactly what they were going to do: move to New York [...]
Those who subscribe know that often the Library of America books can land with a clonk. The recent Emerson and Thoreau and Twain volumes were of course good if not thrilling to receive; the Philip K. Dick one of last year was great and surprising, if a bit oddly curated for my tastes. So when the Shirley Jackson collection arrived last week, it was like a party had gone off in the mailbox! A party of words! LADY WORDS EVEN! Now joining an astoundingly slender list of women in the 204-book series, we have, inevitably, heard that Shirley Jackson's just not worthy. 1. You can suck eggs and 2. [...]