The last novel from a master of psychological horror, Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived In The Castle displays a mastery of suspense, family relationships and black comedy. This Penguin Modern Classics edition includes an afterword by Joyce Carol Oates, author of Black Water.
Living in the family home with only her sister Constance and her uncle Julian for company, Merricat Blackwood just wants to preserve their delicate way of life. Not long ago there were seven Blackwoods - until a fatal dose of arsenic found its way into the sugar bowl one terrible night. Acquitted of the murders, Constance has returned home, where Merricat protects her from the curiosity and hostility of the villagers. But when Cousin Charles arrives, armed with overtures of friendship and a desperate need to get into the safe, Merricat must do everything in her power to protect her remaining family.
Shirley Jackson (1916-65) was born in San Francisco. She first received wide critical acclaim for her short story 'The Lottery', which was published in 1948. Her novels - which include The Sundial, The Bird's Nest, Hangsaman, The Road through the Wall, We Have Always Lived in the Castle and The Haunting of Hill House - are characterised by her use of realistic settings for tales that often involve elements of horror and the occult. Raising Demons and Life Among the Savages are her two works of nonfiction. Come Along With Me is a collection of stories, lectures, and part of the novel she was working on when she died in 1965.
If you enjoyed We Have Always Lived In The Castle, you might like Jackson's The Lottery and Other Stories, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.
'A marvellous elucidation of life ... a story full of craft and full of mystery'
The New York Times Book Review
'If you haven't read We Have Always Lived in the Castle ... you have missed out on something marvellous'