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THE LOTTERY AND OTHER STORIES by...

THE LOTTERY AND OTHER STORIES by Shirley Jackson (The Noonday Press: $10.). When “The Lottery” first appeared in The New Yorker in 1948, it was praised for its power and denounced for its terrible premise; forty-four years later, the story has lost much of its power to shock, probably because so many movies and television shows have used the idea of ordinary people performing a ritual blood sacrifice. The other stories in the anthology have held up better: In “Colloquoy,” a housewife, overwhelmed by the seemingly endless succession of world crises, embodies Foucault’s assertion that in a world gone mad, insanity may actually be saner than normality. An impoverished peddler delivers a well-deserved come-uppance to a trio of patronizing middle class do-gooders in the deliciously ironic “Come Dance with Me in Ireland.” Jackson’s vivid accounts of women struggling to cope with daily life recall the short stories of Dorothy Parker.


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