The Shirley Jackson Award was established to recognize “outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror and the dark fantastic”.
“Shirley Jackson (M) (1916-1965) wrote such classic novels as The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, as well as one of the most famous short stories in the English language, “The Lottery.” Her work continues to be a major influence on writers of every kind of fiction, from the most traditional genre offerings to the most innovative literary work. National Book Critics Circle Award-winning novelist Jonathan Lethem has called Jackson “one of this century’s most luminous and strange American writers,” and multiple generations of authors would agree.” from the award website.
2011 award for best novel has been awarded to Sheri Holman for Witches on the Road Tonight (M)
“In the time it took to dash from a cornfield playground, Eddie Alley’s world turned upside down. A car, rare in the mountain hollows of 1940s Virginia, clipped Eddie as he ran from his taunting friends. Its driver, a slick New York writer accompanied by his glamorous girlfriend, shepherds Eddie to his mountain cabin to await his mother’s return. It would have been better for all concerned, though, if Eddie had been left by the side of the road, because his mother is known for her sorcery. Too late, the writer falls under her spell, but not before mesmerizing Eddie with the novelty of his hand-cranked movie projector and rare footage of a silent horror movie. Thirty years later, as a two-bit celebrity host of a campy, late-night TV creep show, Eddie is forced to reconcile the dark events of his past when a young boy comes into his care. Vibrantly atmospheric, Holman’s stealthily ambiguous novel of suspense glitters with the force of sins and indiscretions unbounded by time.” Booklist
Previous winners have included Mr Shivers (M) by Robert Jackson Bennett, Big Machine (M) by Victor LaValle, and The Shadow Year (M) by Jeffrey Ford.