The Vermont square that inspired Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery."
Born and raised in California and educated in New York, horror author Shirley Jackson moved to North Bennington, VT, with her husband in 1940 while in her early twenties. They lived in that town for the rest of their lives, he teaching on the faculty of Bennington College, and she keeping house, raising their four children, and writing horror stories that would become classics of the genre.
One of her most famous short stories is “The Lottery.” Published in 1948 in The New Yorker, the story centers on a seemingly ordinary New England village engaged in a mundanely enacted rite of cold-hearted monstrosity.
She based the village on her own town of North Bennington, supposedly on its Lincoln Square, a small bit of trapezoidal area formed by Sage, Prospect, Nash, and Main Streets. Jackson and her family lived for a time nearby at 12 Prospect Street, and it was there that she wrote The Lottery after an errand run to the square.
Adapted with Permission from: The New England Grimpendium by J.W. Ocker
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