BLOG: Karin Salvalaggio: Finding Magic in the Boneyard

Karin Salvalaggio

Karin Salvalaggio

Karin Salvalaggio turns to Shirley Jackson’s incredible novella ‘We Have Always Lived in the Castle’ for guidance and inspiration when writing from the point of view of an unreliable narrator. Jackson died before its publication at just 48. Her death was a great loss to modern literature, for despite her ongoing battles with alcoholism, inner demons and obesity she was clearly at the top of her game. For those of you who haven’t been indoctrinated into the cult of Shirley Jackson, you’re in for a treat. If you’re familiar with her work already, it is always worth taking another look. She is that good. ‘We Have Always Lived in the Castle’ is a haunting work of enduring genius that deserves close study. The eighteen-year-old protagonist Mary Katherine Blackwood, or Merricat as she is better known, is not only one of the most precocious voices in Western literature; she also just might be the most unreliable first-person narrator of all time. This blog post first appeared in Bookanista

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