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9 of the Most Disturbing Short Stories You'll Ever Have to Read for School

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"The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson

The New Yorker published Shirley Jackson’s "The Lottery" in 1948, and it was the "Cat Person" of its time, which is to say it caused a STIR. Mostly, people were mad about it. The story describes a New England town where people pick a name out of a hat at random and then stone that person to death, which is super disturbing, I'll grant you that, but it's also... you know... entirely fictional.

Still, she got a LOT of hate mail. Personally I feel like there were probably better things to be mad about in 1948, like the Cold War and McCarthyism, but I’m less creeped out by the readers who sent hate mail than the readers who wrote to her asking where “lotteries” like this took place because they wanted to watch. (WHAT.)

Topics: Books
Tags: high school, books we love, classic literature, short stories, short stories we love, warning: very spooky

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