Shirley Jackson’s works have been adapted and scrutinized for decades but have we always done her work justice? For Jezebel, Emily Alford examines the hazards of loneliness seen in Jackson’s books like The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, and the ways their various film and TV adaptations have missed the mark. “The question of what Jackson’s work is ‘about’ is one that persists over half a century since much of it was published,” Alford writes, “yet the recent revival of interest hasn’t seemed to push us any closer to ‘getting it,’ at least not in any screen adaptation we’ve had so far.”
“The short story, as a form, has plenty of defenders,” the collection of unconnected short stories, maybe not so much. In an essay for LitHub, regular Millions contributor Jonathan Russell Clark praises the unlinked stories of Barbara the Slut and Other People and Single, Carefree, Mellow because “despite a lack of the wholeness of a novel, something complete and true and hard-won emerges by the end.”
It’s fitting in a strange way that the author of Being There is now the subject of an oddball novel-turned-biography. In the Times, Benjamin Markovits reads Jerome Charyn’s book Jerzy, which gives the life of Jerzy Kosinski a treatment he’d likely appreciate.
This essay from Adrian Barnes at The Daily Beast on cancer and fiction and how the two mirror one another is eerie and fascinating. This review of Rebecca Solnit’s The Faraway Nearby from The Millions addresses this tendency of writing and real world illnesses to feed of of one another.
Who among us hasn’t considered turning to jewel thievery and the heisting life during some of our weaker moments? Over at The Daily Beast, Geoff Manaugh takes a look at why we all secretly dream of becoming jewel thieves. If you enjoyed this heist story but you found it lacking in Ben Affleck, then here’s a piece on his true-crime flick The Town and bad drama.