let me tell you by shirley jackson

Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings by Shirley Jackson

2 min read

I’ve always sought out stories about families – by birth or by choice – over the years.

I’m talking about Shirley Jackson’s “Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings.” I found myself commiserating with her stories about her family and the goofy stuff they’ve had to suffer through together.

Even something as silly as who left the hose out.

I got to thinking why I gravitate towards stories about fictional families and not-so-fictional ones.

Buy the book!

Is there a universal truth about being a part of a family? Not that I don’t enjoy stories about orphans – though there is always a glut of those. But I think it’s because everyone has a story to tell.

I didn’t have the idyllic family life like Ms. Jackson and her husband gave to their kids. I won’t comment on the destruction of their marriage, because that’s not what the book is about.

All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.’

Leo Tolstoy

I grew up in a military family. There were long stretches where Dad was over there. Wherever over there happened to be. He couldn’t be there for my birth; he was on the ice in Antartica.

What hits me like a ton of brick about this collection is that all families are the same. No matter what your station. You have the annoying older brother, girly-girl kid sister, the dog who slobbers on your things, and you happen to also live in a creaky old house that moans and creaks during windy days.

I enjoyed this collection immensely. It gives you a peek into the mind of a brilliant writer. It shows her writing process in bits and pieces and how the bits and pieces of a mundane family life influenced the work of hers that we know and love.

Ready to consume a creative writing podcast?

Subscribe to raconteuse radio!

This podcast examines how words on a page sound different when you hear the creator bring the words to life, while celebrating BIPOC emerging voices and the people behind the scenes too.

This weekly radio show will make you cry and gnash your teeth in 10 minutes or less… or your money back!

Icon of a hand, hoding a pen, writing love, peace, and adobo grease, Guilliean

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.