Smarty Pants Podcast

A Rather Haunted Episode

For Halloween, a special guest interview with Ruth Franklin

By Katie Daniels and Taylor Curry | October 31, 2019
From the cover of the 2006 Penguin Classics edition of <em>We Have Always Lived in the Castle</em>
From the cover of the 2006 Penguin Classics edition of We Have Always Lived in the Castle

To get into the Halloween spirit, we’ve invited Assistant Editor Katie Daniels and Editorial Assistant Taylor Curry, the hosts of [Spoiler Alert], our online book club, to interview the literary critic Ruth Franklin. Their October book is Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle, the suspenseful tale of the two Blackwood sisters and the mysterious murder that took place at their house. For a long time, Jackson’s hard-to-categorize novels and humorous parenting memoirs took the backseat to her (in)famous short story, “The Lottery.” That’s starting to change, thanks to film and television adaptations—and Ruth Franklin’s critically acclaimed biography, Shirley Jackson, which won Phi Beta Kappa’s Christian Gauss Award and argues that her writing is an important contribution to the American gothic tradition.

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Tune in every week to catch interviews with the liveliest voices from literature, the arts, sciences, history, and public affairs; reports on cutting-edge works in progress; long-form narratives; and compelling excerpts from new books. Hosted by Stephanie Bastek. Follow us on Twitter @TheAmScho or on Facebook.

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Have suggestions for projects you’d like us to catch up on, or writers you want to hear from? Send us a note: podcast [at] theamericanscholar [dot] org. And rate us on iTunes! Our theme music was composed by Nathan Prillaman, and this episode was produced by Stephanie Bastek.

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