Life Among the Savages

Life Among the Savages

Book - 1990
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Shirley Jackson, author of the classic short story The Lottery , was known for her terse, haunting prose. But the writer possessed another side, one which is delightfully exposed in this hilariously charming memoir of her family's life in rural Vermont. Fans of Please Don't Eat the Daisies , Cheaper by the Dozen , and anything Erma Bombeck ever wrote will find much to recognize in Shirley Jackson's home and neighborhood: children who won't behave, cars that won't start, furnaces that break down, a pugnacious corner bully, household help that never stays, and a patient, capable husband who remains lovingly oblivious to the many thousands of things mothers and wives accomplish every single day.

"Our house," writes Jackson, "is old, noisy, and full. When we moved into it we had two children and about five thousand books; I expect that when we finally overflow and move out again we will have perhaps twenty children and easily half a million books." Jackson's literary talents are in evidence everywhere, as is her trenchant, unsentimental wit. Yet there is no mistaking the happiness and love in these pages, which are crowded with the raucous voices of an extraordinary family living a wonderfully ordinary life.

Continuously in print since 1948, Jackson's Haunting of Hill House has been bought by Dreamworks.

Publisher: Chicago, Ill. : Academy Chicago, 1990, c1981.
ISBN: 9780140267679
0140267670
9780897333429
089733342X
Characteristics: 241 p. ;,19 cm.

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ownedbydoxies
Dec 15, 2016

Originally published in 1953, this is a nostalgic, clever, and very charming non-fiction tale about raising young children in a small Vermont town, written by an author who specialized normally in eerie, somewhat paranormal fiction. It's very funny in addition to being a great look back at how things were in those days (smoking at the table and in bed, for example!). A nice book to read and enjoy and find yourself laughing at the childrens' antics.

l
lukasevansherman
Aug 08, 2016

Surprisingly light and charming autobiography about raising children in Vermont by Shirley Jackson, better known for "The Lottery" and creep out novels "The Haunting of Hill House" and "We Have Always Lived in the Castle." Maybe it takes a well-adjusted, domestically inclined person to create such disturbing and dark books.

l
Logovore
Sep 09, 2015

I have to say that I prefer Jackson's fiction. I did get some chuckles from this book, but it mostly seemed kind of flat. Kerr and Bombeck covered this territory--albeit later than Jackson--in a more humourous manner.

m
mbtinsley
Dec 31, 2014

Shirley Jackson is best known for horror fiction, but this book is extremely funny. She outlines life in a small town in Vermont with her husband and their four children (who are the savages) in a humorous and insightful way. A very entertaining read.

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