Unpublished Shirley Jackson Box Set (Two Issues)
(Special Holiday issue featuring a previously unpublished Shirley Jackson story, as well as fiction by Thomas Perry, John Floyd, David Marcum, and an exclusive interview with Laurie R. King)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able to spin a lasting, relevant and memorable story out of an everyday setting is on full display in this previously unpublished Shirley Jackson story “Adventure on a Bad Night,” released exclusively to The Strand Magazine.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.
A more contemporary short story specialist, John Floyd, is no stranger to these pages and never fails to deliver a bit of southern suspense. In “Nobody’s Business,” he shows us what happens when a hapless man-on-the-run, a couple of hitmen, an elderly lady missing her dog, and an intrepid alligator cross paths in the woods one chilly morning. From gator country we move to Los Angeles and reptiles of a different kind, with a human trafficker biting off more than he can chew in Thomas Perry’s “Katerina Goes to Studio City.” Then we’re off to storied Edinburgh, where Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson reluctantly take a case involving banking, gambling, and perfidy in David Marcum’s “The Edinburgh Bankers.”
Speaking of the Great Detective, we have an exclusive interview with Laurie R. King, who surprised everyone in 1994 by embarking on a series of novels in which the ever-aloof Holmes finds himself happily mentoring young detective Mary Russell. Laurie shared thoughts on the writing life, and what it was like to break with tradition and cast a perennially popular character in a new light.
As usual, you’ll find in this issue a wealth of reviews of the latest thrillers and mysteries, including write-ups of two excellent crime shows recently released on DVD.
(Issue 66 of The Strand Magazine featuring two previously unpublished Shirley Jackson stories, as well as fiction by Kerry Greenwood, Peter Heller, Kurt Anthony Krug and an exclusive interview with Paul Giamatti)
The Strand is proud to release to previously unpublished stories by Shirley Jackson, “Charlie Roberts” takes place entirely within one conversation in a seemingly typical domestic setting, as an unnamed husband and wife discuss the possibility of hosting a dinner party. While their words are free from any apparent anger or accusations, in typical Jackson fashion, what at first seems straightforward and even banal takes on a more sinister tone.
The other story, “Only Stand and Wait,” involves a man waiting for the bandages to be removed from his eyes after undergoing surgery to correct lifelong blindness. Probing something most of us take for granted, the conversation between the man and the doctor poses interesting questions about human nature, our relationship with the world, and what sight really means
Perhaps it’s Jackson’s influence, but this issue of The Strand feels especially haunted by tales of calamity cloaked in superficial calm. Take Kerry Greenwood’s “A Matter of Style,” in which the indefatigable Phryne Fisher solves a case of missing valuables without ruffling the feathers of genteel society in 1920s Melbourne. There’s also Peter Heller, one of the powerful voices of the literary mystery for the past decade, plumbing the depths of isolated living amid the bustle of Denver in “The Lake.” Kurt Anthony Krug also pits perception versus reality in “The Man You Don’t Want to Meet,” which traces a series of unsolved murders in the Motor City to something even stranger than a serial killer. Last but not least, we have Des Browning’s “Twist of Fate,” offering a surprising spin on the origin story of one of the most intriguing characters in the Sherlock Holmes canon. And if these stories don’t satiate your desire for the dark underbelly of life, we have plenty more recommendations among our staff’s latest book reviews.
We have an exclusive with Paul Giamatti besides being one of our generation’s most prolific, talented, and versatile actors, he has a nearly encyclopedic knowledge of crime fiction. The Strand’s in-depth interview ranged from little known classic movies, books we’d like to see adapted to film, and the enduring impact of Eric Ambler to the genius of Alec Guinness, the pitfalls of social media, L.A. bookshops, cockatoos, and pine tar.
The Strand is proud to release two unpublished Shirley Jackson stories and we continue to bring our readers the best in fiction, interviews with authors, as well as insightful book and audiobook reviews. In addition to the new Steinbeck short story, we’ve featured unpublished works other legendary authors including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Raymond Chandler, H.G. Wells, Agatha Christie, Dashiell Hammett, Tennessee Williams, and Joseph Heller.
For more back issues with works by literary legends, follow this link!