We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

While I’m certain you’ve read “The Lottery” once or twice--it’s the most anthologized short story out there, after all--I’m concerned that you may not have given Jackson’s equally creepy novels a try. My favorite is her last, a truly bizarre little book called WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE that Jackson wrote after agoraphobia and substance abuse had effectively rendered her a prisoner in her own home. The novel centers around a makeshift family holed up in their own big old house: the feral, witchy Merricat; her beloved and anxious older sister Constance; and their infirm Uncle Julian. For reasons that slowly, horribly become clear to the reader, the family is bullied and reviled by the citizens of their small New England town, and manage to live in almost complete isolation for seven years until an upstart cousin comes to town and upsets the precarious balance of their lives. A twisted, eerie little psychological tale that also serves as a brilliant metaphor for Jackson’s own deteriorating mental state. You’d be crazy to miss it!

— Danielle


Part of the Penguin Orange Collection, a limited-run series of twelve influential and beloved American classics in a bold series design offering a modern take on the iconic Penguin paperback

Winner of the 2016 AIGA + Design Observer 50 Books - 50 Covers competition

For the seventieth anniversary of Penguin Classics, the Penguin Orange Collection celebrates the heritage of Penguin's iconic book design with twelve influential American literary classics representing the breadth and diversity of the Penguin Classics library. These collectible editions are dressed in the iconic orange and white tri-band cover design, first created in 1935, while french flaps, high-quality paper, and striking cover illustrations provide the cutting-edge design treatment that is the signature of Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions today.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Taking readers deep into a labyrinth of dark neurosis, We Have Always Lived in the Castle is perhaps the crowning achievement of Shirley Jackson's brilliant career: a deliciously unsettling novel about a perverse, isolated, and possibly murderous family and the dramatic struggle that ensues when an unexpected visitor interrupts their unusual way of life.

About the Author

Shirley Jackson (1916-1965) received wide critical acclaim for her short story "The Lottery," which was first published in the New Yorker in 1948. Her works available from Penguin Classics include We Have Always Lived in the Castle, The Haunting of Hill House, Come Along with Me, Hangsaman, The Bird's Nest, and The Sundial, as well as Life Among the Savages and Raising Demons available from Penguin Books.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780143129547
ISBN-10: 0143129546
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: October 18th, 2016
Pages: 160
Language: English
Series: Penguin Orange Collection