A couple of weeks ago, Sophia of Sophia’s Book Blog read and reviewed a lovely short story called Lilacs by Kate Chopin. I really liked the story so I explored a few more of Chopin’s works and A Pair of Silk Stockings was another one of her stories that I liked. I also stumbled upon a story by Shirley Jackson named The Lottery. Apparently, it is her best-known work and a popular American short story. Sadly, I had never heard of the author or the story before but I’m definitely going to be reading more of her now. Okay, so onto the stories.
A Pair of Silk Stockings
Mrs Sommers is a sensible woman. So, when she finds herself unexpectedly richer by fifteen dollars, she makes plans to use the money sensibly. All of her children could have fresh new clothes and hats and stockings. However, Mrs Sommers’ sensible plans are derailed by a pair of silk stockings.
This is not a twist in the end tale. There are no surprises here. But I really liked the way Chopin treats her protagonist. Mrs Sommers is instantly recognizable. We all know women like her to whom, ordinarily, self-indulgence is a bad word. The whole story revolves around just one character and a few hours in her life. Nothing remotely thrilling but a gentle and poignant read. You can find it here.
Its lottery day in a small village in America. There is a palpable sense of excitement and anticipation in the air. The preparations have been meticulously done and the whole village has gathered to witness the important event. This particular lottery has been around for a very long time. It is a part of the local tradition, and yet, it is anything but traditional.
It is difficult to write much about the story without giving it all away. You really have to go into it knowing nothing. Apparently, when this story was first published in 1948, it really rattled a lot of people who believed that it was an attack on the value system of small town America. I cannot guess whether Jackson intended it as an attack but there is no denying the whiplash effect of the story. You can find it online here.
Anyone read any other works by Jackson? Any recommendations?