illustrated portrait of American author Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson

Start Free Trial

I have a book by Shirley Jackson inscribed "For Ann and Bern with warmest affection. Shirley, September 1962." Please help me identify the recipients.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

WOW!  I do believe that the book you possess may be a piece of true literary history. Shirley Jackson (1916-1965) lived most of her life in New England with her husband, the literary critic Stanley Hyman (1919-1970). They had many friends in the literary field and knew many other contemporary writers of the time. It is known that she often corresponded with Bernard Malamud (1914-1986), the Brooklyn-born writer and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 1967 (for The Fixer). Malamud's nickname was "Bern" and his wife was Ann De Chiara Malamud (1917-2007). Almost certainly your book was presented by Jackson to either Malamud himself and/or his wife, Ann, making it a wonderful piece of literary nostalgia that was once owned and handled by not one but two great American writers.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team