Thursday, September 08, 2011

23: Life Among the Savages

I am ridiculously tired! My grad school pulled an about face on me and required a Wednesday night class - I live 4 hourrrsss away! So I was at work before 7:10, worked untl 12:30, had to take half a day, drove a little over four hours, class for four hours, drove home, home at 1 am on Thursday, up at 6, work, then I had tickets for a local dinner theater that I bought a couple of months ago! Great fun with some awesome ladies, but about ready to be UUUUUNconscious! I am, in fact, too tired for Pet Photo Sessions (tm). For a special bonus, one of the cats is sick, soooo yeah. Gross.

Life Among the Savages
Shirley Jackson
Published: 1952

Why?: I admit to having a huge soft spot for humorists. Shirley Jackson is most famous for her more political work (“The Lottery”) and her collection of horror novels (the most famous is probably The Haunting of Hill House). I read her stories about raising her four children in suburbia before I read “the Lottery” or anything of her creepy works. In fact, it must have been a decade after I read “The Lottery” that I realized this book was by the same author! The stories are delightful and witty, far ahead of similar books dealing with the realities of family life.

"Our house is old, noisy and full. When we moved into it we had two children and about five thousand books; when we finally overflow and move out again we will have perhaps twenty children and easily half a million books . . ." This book is a collection of stories inspired by Jackson’s real life and children; exactly where fiction and reality diverge isn’t clear, but only in the same way that all master storytellers adjust their lives for a good story.

Bonus Trivia:
Life Among the Savages is followed by Raising Demons. Also, a selection from this novel, about her son starting kindergarten, is often included in Jackson collections with the name “Charles.”

Perfect For: Ages 12+, people who love a good chuckle

Nonfiction, Memoir
Keywords: Humor, Classic

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