08 July 2013

Around and About

A trio of items...

1.
Penguin Books is, slowly but surely, bringing all of Shirley Jackson's work back into print. Earlier this year they brought back the posthumous collection Come Along with Me, and just a few weeks ago they released new editions of novels that have been out of print for ages: The Road Through the Wall (her first novel) and Hangsaman. You'll be hearing more about those here later this summer. I've also gotten confirmation that Penguin will release The Bird's Nest and The Sundial at the end of January 2014 — two strange and fascinating books that have long deserved to be available once again (The Bird's Nest is currently available in the e-book of The Magic of Shirley Jackson).

Returning these books to print has brought about some new writing on Jackson. In March, Slate published "Why You Should Read Shirley Jackson" by William Brennan; last month, The New Yorker's book blog posted a fascinating account by Ruth Franklin, who is working on a new biography of Jackson, of the letters Jackson received after "The Lottery" was published. A few days ago, Open Letters Monthly published an essay about Jackson by Victoria Best that is well worth reading, particularly given its focus on We Have Always Lived in the Castle, a book that is, I think, one of the great accomplishments in American literature in the second half of the 20th century.

2.
There's a Bessie Head blogathon! I just learned about it, and don't have time this week to join in, but I will be following the posts avidly.

I repeat: There's a Bessie Head blogathon! Go!

3.
It's Readercon week! I'll be there Friday through Sunday, doing three readings and one panel. Also, I recently returned to the programming committee, having resigned last year in the midst of The Badness. The convention has done an admirable job of recovering from the missteps of last summer, and I'm thrilled to have been invited back to work with a remarkably great group of people. It's always a pleasure to see so many friends, to meet new friends, and to generally revel in the entirely nerdy, readerly atmosphere.

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