A Lost Shirley Jackson Story, 'Adventure on a Bad Night,' Is Being Published for the First Time

Shirley Jackson has more stories to tell.
Shirley Jackson has more stories to tell. / Armen, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 4.0

Long before Stephen King committed his macabre writing to paper, author Shirley Jackson was spooking readers with short stories like 1948’s “The Lottery” and books like 1959’s The Haunting of Hill House. (King later said he was inspired by Jackson’s stories.)

While fans continue to revisit the late writer’s work, they now have something new to explore. A short story, “Adventure on a Bad Night,” was recently discovered by Jackson’s son, Laurence Hyman, among her papers at the Library of Congress. Published in The Strand, the tale involves a woman named Vivien who visits a corner shop and experiences an uncomfortable example of prejudice against an immigrant.

The Strand is making the story available in their print edition, which can be ordered on their website for $9.99.

Hyman told the Associated Press that both he and his sister, Sarah Hyman DeWitt, make frequent trips to the Library of Congress to examine their mother’s papers, which are only loosely organized. He told The Guardian that he believes the story was written in 1944. Jackson died in 1965.

More recently, Jackson's work has seen a resurgence of interest thanks to a 2019 Netflix series based on The Haunting of Hill House. Elizabeth Moss portrayed Jackson in a 2020 film, Shirley. Hyman also said he plans to publish a collection of Jackson’s letters next summer.

[h/t The Guardian]