2020 Triple Pack: Alcott, Shirley Jackson, Agatha Christie and Raymond Chandler
Agatha Christie Issue
We’re proud to present an unpublished Raymond Chandler in the latest issue of the Strand. Professor Sarah Trott provides an introduction and examines the biographical context of this gem. Chandler was a career oil executive before achieving fame as an author, and suffered the loss of his job at age forty-four. “Advice to an Employer” shows a different side to Raymond Chandler. The wry humor is there, but the piece also reveals a silly, fun side to an author long associated with novels about the seamy side of LA.
We are also pleased to share a story featuring a certain little Belgian detective with a waxed moustache and egg-shaped head. He finds himself far away from the comforts of his usual London life, celebrating an old-fashioned family Christmas in the English countryside. Agatha Christie later expanded her “Christmas Adventure” (originally published in the UK in 1923) into the longer story many readers are familiar with. This is the first time Christie’s shorter version has appeared in publication in the US.
Shirley Jackson Issue
(Special Holiday issue featuring a previously unpublished Shirley Jackson story, as well as fiction by Thomas Perry, John Floyd, David Marcum, and an exclusive interview with Laurie R. King)
Shirley Jackson was a writer who could deftly move between both short stories and novels, crafting unforgettable short tales out of mundane circumstances or full-length novels of the supernatural. Her gift of being able to spin a lasting, relevant and memorable story out of an everyday setting is on full display in this previously unpublished Shirley Jackson story “Adventure on a Bad Night,” released exclusively to The Strand Magazine.
Written not long after World War II, the narrative involves a homemaker who makes a trip to a convenience store one evening and runs into a pregnant and seemingly helpless immigrant. In just under 3,000 words, Jackson casts a sharp eye on everything from prejudice and personal responsibility to the deepest thoughts of a woman trapped in the monotony of her everyday life.
Louise May Alcott Issue
In our 60th issue, we’re proud to present an unpublished Louisa May Alcott story, Aunt Nellie’s Diary, published here for the first time, is told from the perspective of a single and insightful forty-year-old woman who is responsible for the care of her teenage niece. Her niece’s beautiful, worldly friend is staying with them over the summer, as is a young man—Nellie’s friend’s handsome son. According to scholars, Aunt Nellie’s Diary was written when she was quite young; nevertheless Alcott displays sharp psychological insight into the characters who inhabit the seemingly carefree world of picnics, masked balls, and cozy carriage rides.
Alcott scholar Professor Daniel Shealy provides an introduction which looks at the historical and biographical context of this gem. Set during Gilded Age America, this 9,000 word story provides romance, the idyllic world of a time gone by, and characters who served as the inspiration for her future masterpieces.