Old School Wednesdays Readalong: Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson. Posted on October 29, Old School Wednesdays is a weekly Book Smuggler feature. To readers in , Shirley Jackson’s second novel Hangsaman (reissued this year by Penguin with an introduction by Francine Prose) must. Hangsaman seems an account of trauma’s aftermath, of the shapes we implore the world to take so that the unpleasant or shocking can be.

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She’s one of my actual favorites. When Natalie starts having a back and forth conversation with a police detective you don’t know if Jackson is trying to allude to something that is going to happen, or it’s all just in Natalie’s hangsaan.

Was her friend Tony for example, encountered towards the latter part of the story, and shifley whom she formed an obsessive, and possibility jacksob bond, actually real? Like Catcher in the Rye published the same year as Hangsaman and Lolitathe references to real-time, everyday Americana show Jackson beginning to plow the pop culture territory that David Foster Wallace and other postmodern-era authors would explore in later decades. A girl, Natalie, attends a dinner party where she is possibly assaulted, starts college, drinks a lot of martinis with professors, and goes on long, thought-addled walks.

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Jackson leverages the strange, blended narrative persona to excellent effect right from the opening scenes.

It makes me sad that I can’t remember most of what I wrote, but it was about 8 years ago! The Gallowstree, a folksong.

But it feels like more than that. View all 3 comments. The story received through the twisted and unreliable narrator who recites Natalie’s thoughts is fascinating, in the way a fish hook piercing flesh is sickly fascinating. My cover does not look shorley this at all! Her father is a domineering and egotistical writer who keeps a tight rein on Natalie and her long-suffering mother.


Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson () – a review | LiteraryLadiesGuide

I found myself thinking like the narrator reporting Natalie’s musings; it was disturbing. In the scene, an artist is taunted by a talking statue to cross over into a large mirror hanging on a wall.

But Shirley Jackson is not a horror writer. In some sense, it feels like Natalie’s future self the narrator? As we are constantly privy to Natalie’s often half-mad musings, the story eventually develops an eerie, surreal dimension.

Movies come to mind. The story concerns a young girl named Natalie Waite, a smart loner type who has always been under the thumb of her well-meaning but pompous, overbearing college professor father Jackson was a master at limning windbags like him — see also Dr.

There are other odd, improbable, tenuous connections, as if Hangsaman had hantsaman secret way of speaking to or through other artifacts beyond its time. About three-quarters of the way through the novel, Natalie follows a convivial pied piper out of town and, at first, we think this is a good thing. Lists with This Book.

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Reading it I felt—unaccountably—as if I was in a sandstorm, waiting for the final jackosn, finally, to choke me. Dec 29, Jane rated it really liked it. Her father is a writer, and critiques her work.

In the first part, Natalie lives with her egotistical father, self-depracating mother, and indifferent brother where they host a party and she is possibly sexually assualted, but Jackson provides no answers. Resemblances stretch from the absolutely blatant fraudulence of Billy Liar all the way to the absolutely confoundingly weirdo Carnival Of Souls.


Book Review: Hangsaman, by Shirley Jackson

In part three jackzon has what looks like a nervous breakdown and considers suicide with the help of an imaginary friend. I love Shirley Jackson but I don’t even like this Natalie doesn’t fit in, and the details of life in an all-girls dorm is unimpeachable, including the strange spate of random thefts.

If the product is hangsamzn by linking through, Literary Ladies Guide receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing! Dear Sir Knight, It was not you, then, caroling lustily under my window these three nights past? The prose warped my mind.

Book Review: Hangsaman, by Shirley Jackson | Like Telling the Truth

We have the young girl naive and at times defiant the newlywed hxngsaman of what she did by giving up her own identity and the married woman realizing that being married was not the ultimate prize that she thought it would be.

It is only on a second or third read that it sinks in that the exchange between Natalie xhirley her imaginary detective is so very, very strange because the detective is prescient.

It will swallow you whole. A couple more things Natalie, fascinated, was listening to the secret voice which followed her.