With a new film adaptation of We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House, and the upcoming 60th anniversary of the publication of The Haunting of Hill House, we thought it was high time we turned our attention to the wonderful Shirley Jackson. To help us on our journey of exploration – and major fangirling – we enlisted horror writer Catriona Ward, whose latest novel Little Eve has just been nominated for the Shirley Jackson award.

Ramsey Campbell once said about Shirley Jackson:

I know of no other writer in the field who conveys paranoia and spectral dread with more delicacy than she. Who else could terrify with the sight of a picnic on a lawn?

Jackson is considered a master of the horror genre, whose legacy continues to influence the biggest names in the genre. Stephen King, Andrew Micheal Hurley, Sarah Lotz, Paul Tremblay, Joe Hill, and Richard Matheson have all cited her as inspirations. But there is relatively little blood or elements of the supernatural in Shirley Jackson’s work. So why do we consider her a horror writer?

Further reading

Catriona Ward, author of Rawblood and Little Eve

Catriona Ward was born in Washington DC and grew up in the US, Kenya, Madagascar, Yemen and Morocco. She studied English at St Edmund Hall, Oxford followed by the UEA Masters in Creative Writing. After living in New York for 4 years where she trained as an actor, she now works for a human rights foundation and lives in London.

Her literary debut, Rawblood was shortlisted for the Author’s Club Debut Novel of the Year and winner of Best Horror Novel at the British Fantasy Awards. A second novel, Little Eve, was published by Weidenfeld and Nicholson in Summer 2018.