In honor of Shirley Jackson, Ellen Datlow will be hosting a reading of Shirley Jackson’s work by award-winning and leading authors of the dark fantastic and horror on July 23rd at the KGB Bar in New York City. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Shirley Jackson Awards.

Shirley Jackson (1916-1965) wrote such classic novels as The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, as well as one of the most famous short stories in the English language, “The Lottery.” “The Lottery” was first published on June 28, 1948 in The New Yorker.

Ms. Jackson’s work continues to be a major influence on writers of every kind of fiction, from the most traditional genre offerings to the most innovative literary work. National Book Critics Circle Award-winning novelist Jonathan Lethem has called Jackson “one of this century’s most luminous and strange American writers,” and multiple generations of authors would agree.

Authors who will read from Ms. Jackson’s work are:

F. Brett Cox’s most recent stories appeared in Black Static and Postscripts. His newest story, “She Hears Music Up Above,” is forthcoming in the original anthology from Prime Books, Phantom. With Andy Duncan, he co-edited Crossroads: Tales of the Southern Literary Fantastic. He is a juror for the 2007 Shirley Jackson Awards.

Jeffrey Ford is author of the novels The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque and The Girl in the Glass, and the story collection, The Empire of Ice Cream. In 2008 he will have out a new novel, The Shadow Year, and a new collection, The Drowned Life.

Jack Ketchum is the author of many novels, including Joyride, Red, Only Child, and Hide and Seek. His book of two novellas was just released by Leisure, and his collection of memoirs, titled Book of Souls, is about to be published by Bloodletting Press.

Carrie Laben’s story “Something in the Mermaid Way,” is a nominee in the short story category for the 2007 Shirley Jackson Awards. Another story is just out in the anthology Phantom. She is currently working on her first novel, in which most of the nicer characters are rats.

John Langan’s collection, Mr. Gaunt and Other Uneasy Encounters, is forthcoming from Prime Books. His novella, “How the Day Runs Down,” or, as he likes to call it, “my zombie Our Town,” will appear in John Joseph Adams’s massive zombie anthology, The Living Dead, in September. He is a juror for the 2007 Shirley Jackson Awards.

Sarah Langan’s first novel, The Keeper, was a New York Times Editor’s Pick. Her second novel, The Missing, won the Stoker Award for outstanding novel of 2007. Her third novel, Audrey’s Door, is slated for publication in early 2009. She’s currently at work on a collection of short stories. She is a juror for the 2007 Shirley Jackson Awards.

Peter Straub is the author of seventeen novels, including Ghost Story, Koko, Mr. X, In the Night Room, and two collaborations with Stephen King. He also has written two volumes of poetry and two collections of short fiction, and he edited the Library of America’s edition of H. P. Lovecraft’s Tales. He has won many awards for his writing and in 1998, was named Grand Master at the World Horror Convention. In 2006, he was given the Horror Writers Association’s Life Achievement Award.

David Wellington is the author of Monster Island, 13 Bullets, 99 Coffins, and the forthcoming Vampire Zero. His work is serialized online for free at: David Wellington.

Jack Womack is the author of Ambient, Terraplane, Heathern, Elvissey, Random Acts of Senseless Violence, Let’s Put the Future Behind Us, and Going, Going, Gone. He was in 1994 a co-winner of the Philip K. Dick Award for Elvissey.

An evening of live readings from Ms. Jackson’s work is sure to unsettle audience members. The event will take place at KGB Bar, well-known for its regularly held readings of poetry and non-fiction, and for the Fantastic Fiction reading series, co-hosted by Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel. KGB is located at 85 East 4th Street (just off 2nd Ave) New York City.

Readings from Shirley Jackson’s work will begin at 7pm and end by 9pm. The cover charge is $5 per person.

In recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson’s writing, and with permission of the author’s estate, the Shirley Jackson Awards have been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic. The 2007 Shirley Jackson Awards will be presented on Sunday, July 20th 2008, at Readercon 19, Conference on Imaginative Literature, in Burlington, Massachusetts.

Shirley Jackson Awards

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