Is there any one of us who hasn't read Shirley Jackson's iconic story, "The Lottery"? I don't think there's any better depiction of the dark undercurrents that usually remain hidden in small communities. My favorite of Jackson's works is The Haunting of Hill House, with its much-better-than-average Hollywood adaptation, The Haunting.
I think Jackson has been a subconscious influence on my work as a mystery writer, particularly in the way that she skillfully evokes atmosphere. (And like her, I adore creaky old houses with plenty of secrets.) So I was thrilled to find that there's a new biography of Jackson, with the compelling subtitle, "A rather haunted life." Perfect reading for this time of year.
Publishers Weekly gave a small taste of the book is this article.