Old School Wednesdays Readalong: Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson. Posted on October 29, Old School Wednesdays is a weekly Book Smuggler feature. To readers in , Shirley Jackson’s second novel Hangsaman (reissued this year by Penguin with an introduction by Francine Prose) must. Hangsaman seems an account of trauma’s aftermath, of the shapes we implore the world to take so that the unpleasant or shocking can be.

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Book Review: Hangsaman, by Shirley Jackson | Like Telling the Truth

So, thanks to Goodreads I was able to chart just exactly how gender-skewed my reading is: She’s used by two girls, at least one of whom is fucking her married professor, as a distraction. Hanggsaman all 3 comments.

Two girls Anne and Vicki are tormenting This book is separated into three parts. They had all earned their deaths, Natalie thought, by a job well done – the woman in the seat ahead who had never needed a face, had perhaps been given for her part only the back of a head and a dark cloth coat collar, the man in the seat next to Natalie, a full-dress part, even to the watchchain and the grimy shirt collar – had not this same man, as a matter of fact, been close to Natalie in the station, memorising her face so that although when next they met she would not know him, he would be able to identify her, winking and gesturing with his head to the others, murmuring perhaps to the bus driver, ‘ That one, there.

The third and Finale part is beautifully quirked-out and inspired. I love Shirley Jackson but I don’t even like this Jackson’s books inspire these simple and composed sorts of responses that can be boiled down to individual symbols.


Some sentences last an entire paragraph. It is only on a second or third read that it sinks in that the exchange between Natalie and her imaginary detective is so very, very strange because the detective is prescient.

The way Shirley Jdackson is always fascinating. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Write a customer review. My perspective on it is definitely skewed, so you really shouldn’t base your decision on it to decide whether you should read this novel or not. She’s raped in the end but appears to take it in stride: As the novel progresses it becomes difficult to tell what is real, who is real, what Natalie is actually experiencing. There are three balanced and interlocked acts to this book, each with its own timbre and emotional charge; it isn’t perfect, we overspend time in Natalie’s internal argument that would have been better externalized– but what gets across is compelling and the faults are minor.

I used to think Hemingway, but Jackson’s are just as brilliant and a tad less showy–remarkably beautiful, her sentences have the feel of a diamond cutting through glass with a clarity I thought impossible in English. Amazon Second Chance Pass it on, trade it in, give it a second life.

Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson (1952) – a review

However, in the couple of days since finishing it, the turn jckson the story has begun to seem less jarring and more haunting. Natalie draws the reader slowly and inexorably into her world, as seen through her eyes. Natalie sometimes questions what she sees and experiences as reality, and those are the most lucid fragments of this novel.

I think I see my mother comin’ At the party an unthinkable thing happens to her, something she won’t acknowledge happened. In this second section mysteries abound: It makes me sad that I can’t remember most of what I wrote, but it was about 8 years ago! Having read the little information we have on Paula Jean Welden hangeaman, I don’t see any connection except that both girls attended Bennington College and both were depressed reportedly, in Welden’s case.


And you also may end up not liking anyone I know I didn’t but may come away feeling sorry for Natalie I did and then just confused again. View all 11 comments. Explore the Home Gift Guide. What significance did the one-armed man have?

Hangsaman – Wikipedia

Learn more about Amazon Prime. Little by little, Natalie is no longer certain of anything—even where reality ends and her dark imaginings begin.

Read reviews that mention shirley jackson haunting of hill hill house young woman francine prose great book natalie waite novel hangsaman college father strange girl psychological sense edition mental dark pages perhaps writer. I started to pick up on things here and there and realized that Natalie was not realizing what was not being said a lot of times. A hanysaman scene may be on a bus ride, when Natalie feels suffocatingly confined by her fellow jacksom on all sides: Natalie Waite, seventeen years old, comes from a home where there is disunity.

There is a great supporting cast, so naturally rendered that they somehow don’t come off as instant ‘characters’.

A story can get away with extreme ambiguity if it treats its characters with love and respect, which is something Jackson never has a problem doing. She’s Her Own Xhirley, as so many of the best things in life happen to be.