Life Among the Savages

Life Among the Savages

Book - 2015
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In a hilariously charming domestic memoir, America's celebrated master of terror turns to a different kind of fright: raising children.

In her celebrated fiction, Shirley Jackson explored the darkness lurking beneath the surface of small-town America. But in Life Among the Savages , she takes on the lighter side of small-town life. In this witty and warm memoir of her family's life in rural Vermont, she delightfully exposes a domestic side in cheerful contrast to her quietly terrifying fiction. With a novelist's gift for character, an unfailing maternal instinct, and her signature humor, Jackson turns everyday family experiences into brilliant adventures.
Publisher: New York :, Penguin Books,, 2015
Copyright Date: ©1981
ISBN: 9780143128045
Call Number: BIO Jackson JAC
Characteristics: 229 pages ;,20 cm.
Subjects: Jackson, Shirley, 1916-1965
Authors, American -- 20th century -- Biography


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Jan 09, 2021

Amazing book. As a mom, I found myself relating and laughing a lot. Jackson is such a good writer, although I've only read a few of her short stories before this. This book is also written with multiple short stories, but they flow well and are all connected. There are tiny glimpses throughout of what she normally writes about, but overall it's just funny and real.

It's so interesting how much some things have changed since the 40s and 50s when it comes to parenting, but how kids are just the same.

My favourite part was when she's about to have her third child. Expecting my third, this really stuck with me. She goes off in a taxi, since she can't drive and her husband is staying at home with the kids, with her suitcase packed for a 10-day stay, smoking cigarettes on the way there. Everyone tells her the third is the easiest, same as today. Then when she's going through labour, nothing has changed. She writes it in such a comedic way, about her husband, and the doctor, and the nurses. "Well, really, you're only having a baby!"

Recommended for anyone who is a parent.

Oct 28, 2020

She's mostly known for her excellent horror and this is equally well-written, but very different. It's a nonfiction memoir from when she and her husband moved the family from New York City to Vermont. In lesser hands, this domestic memoir might be trite or dull but Shirley Jackson is funny, sharp and an excellent writer.

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.

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.

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.

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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