The Lottery – Shirley Jackson
First published in 1948 this is probably Shirley Jackson’s most famous piece and has been published many times since.
“The Lottery is renowned for its clever use of the mundane to lead us to the shock of the extreme. If you are not familiar with the story I won’t spoil the ending other than to say that Jackson’s understated writing lulls us into a wonderfully sedate sense of security.
The lottery of the title strikes us as the most ordinary of community events as all the families of a small American town draw lots from a ceremonial black box. One piece of folded paper in the box has a black spot on it.
Jackson uses the analogy of the lottery to challenge the universal acceptance of customs and routines, religious or otherwise.”
The SHORT TALE Review 2016