Books: Nightshade Must Fall

WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE (214 pp.)—Shirley Jackson—Viking ($3.95).

Shirley Jackson is a kind of Virginia Werewoolf among the seance-fiction writers. By day, amiably disguised as an embattled mother, she devotes her artful talents to the real-life confusions of the four small children (Life Among the Savages, Raising Demons) in her Vermont household. But when shadows fall and the little ones are safely tucked in, Author Jackson pulls down the deadly nightshade and is off. With exquisite subtlety she then explores a dark world (The Lottery, Hangsaman, The Haunting of Hill House} in which the usual brooding old houses, fetishes,...

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