Plano Reads: Life Among the Savages

Register and join the Brown Bag Book Club on Thursday, June 24, 2021 for a virtual discussion of Life Among the Savages.

Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson is best known for her horror stories, but like many authors, her talents lie in more than one genre. Four years after writing The Lottery, her best-known work, she published Life Among the Savages. In Savages, a book Jackson referred to as a disrespectful memoir of her children, Jackson takes on the pandemonium of raising four children in a semi-fictionalized series of stories.

Jackson’s domestic works have been compared to the writings of Erma Bombeck, Jean Kerr, or the modern mommy blogger. They are true to life, witty, and self-deprecating.  Jackson does not hesitate to mock herself as unfit to be a housewife and a woman whose children are not the center of her universe. The children are not always adorable and they do things that would drive most parents to the edge. Yet, the stories remain fresh and modern.

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“Reader Lockford handles domesticity in just the right tones: you’re hearing the inflections of the mildly sarcastic, self-deprecating, endlessly exasperated but always loving wife and mother. And Lockford’s children’s voices are age appropriate and believable. Laurie, Jannie, and Sally are alternately demanding, helpful, helpless, annoying, happy, disobedient, and perfectly wonderful in sickness and in health, in school, at home, in the department store, in the restaurant, or engaged in the complex lives of multiple imaginative friends.” – Publishers Weekly, 2015

“Jackson, author of the famous The Haunting of Hill House and The Lottery, here leaves her spooks behind to offer this portrait of horror of another kind–life in the suburbs. This 1953 volume presents her take on living in an old house in Vermont. Good fun of the Erma Bombeck kind.” – Library Journal, 1997


Register and join the Brown Bag Book Club on Thursday, June 24, 2021 for a virtual discussion of Life Among the Savages an unsentimental sometimes raucous account of mid-twentieth century domestic life. And if you aren’t familiar with Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery I encourage you to check that out too!

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