Jackson was born in either 1919 or 1916. Some people believe Jackson lied about her birth year being 1919 in order to be younger than her husband, Stanley Edgar Hyman, who she met at Syracuse University while working on the campus literary magazine. She later graduated from Syracuse in 1940 and went on to write numerous short stories and essays. Magazines that published her work include: Good Housekeeping, Harper's, and The Saturday Evening Post, among others. Her short story, "The Lottery" published by The New Yorker became extremely popular as it was filmed three separate times.
Able to produce work for children such as Nine Magic Wishes, the musical The Bad Children, and The Witchcraft of Salem Village, Jackson also wrote for adults. Her first novel was The Road Through the Wall which was followed by The Hangsama, The Bird's Nest, and The Haunting of Hill House, a ghost story that influenced Stephen King. Jackson's stories and novels gave filmmakers ample material for several movies. Showing her humorous side about being a wife and mother, Jackson penned Life Among the Savages and Raising Demons, works that later inspired similar writings by the likes of Erma Bombeck.
Perhaps the drugs prescribed for her neuroses, the fact that she was an overweight chain-smoker, or a combination of the above led to her early death at age 48. Her husband posthumously released a collection of her short stories, speeches, and chapters from her uncompleted final novel.
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