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Shirley Jackson's Haunts

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More than 50 years after her death, the legacy of author Shirley Jackson lives on. With a recent film adaptation based on her book We Have Always Lived in the Castle and a Netflix series loosely inspired by The Haunting of Hill House, new readers continue to discover this prolific author. Many of Jackson's novels, memoirs and short stories were written in the small town of North Bennington, where she lived with her husband, Stanley Edgar Hyman, and their four children. We met up with Barry Hyman, Jackson's youngest son, to tour the small town and visit some of their old haunts — like the general store, the post office and the library, which are recounted in her popular memoirs. We also visited the second house the family lived in and got a tour of the room Jackson wrote in and eventually died in, at the age of 48. Shirley Jackson Day takes place in North Bennington around June 27 each year, the date the ritual stoning takes place in in her infamous story "The Lottery." This year, the event will be held on June 22 at the Left Bank gallery in North Bennington between 6:30 and 9 p.m. Barry Hyman will be playing music, there will be a gallery exhibit inspired by Jackson and an hour of her work will be read out loud by Barry, her daughter Jai Holly and two authors connected to the Shirley Jackson Awards. While Jackson's former homes are not open to the public, you can visit the lawn of her former Main Street home from July 1 to November 1 for the North Bennington Outdoor Sculpture Show. And there is talk of renting out her study for an Airbnb someday, as well.

Episode Number: 
255
Original Airdate: 
Monday, June 24, 2019

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