Shirley Hardie Jackson was born in San Francisco on 14 December 1916 to Leslie Hardie Jackson and Geraldine Bugbee Jackson. She spent her early childhood in Burlingame, California. She started writing poetry and keeping a journal at an early age; entries date as far back as 1932. Shortly after that first entry, the Jackson's moved to Rochester, New York, where Jackson enrolled in the University of Rochester in 1934. She withdrew after two years to spend a year pursuing her career as a writer, producing a self-imposed quota of a thousand words a day. Later, she returned to school and attended Syracuse University for two years (from 1938 to 1940), during which time she published several pieces of fiction and nonfiction in campus magazines. At Syracuse she met Hyman, whom she married in 1940; together they founded one of the campus magazines, The Spectre. .
After graduation and marriage, Jackson moved to New York City. Her first national publication came in 1941 when The New Republic printed "My Life with R. H. Macy", a short story based on her experiences working at Macy's Department Store. She continued to publish short stories regularly over the next few years and also gave birth to a son, Laurence, and a daughter, Joanne. .
In 1945 Jackson and her family left New York City for Bennington, Vermont, where Hyman had a teaching position. She published more short stories, including "The Lottery" in 1948. That same year, Jackson's first novel, The Road Through the Wall, was published, followed a year later by a collection of short stories, The Lottery, or, The Adventures of James Harris (1949). Two more children were born: Sarah in 1948 and Barry in 1951. Jackson died of a heart attack when she was 48.
"Shirley Jackson," in Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 234: American Short-Story Writers Since World War II, Third Series. A Bruccoli Clark Layman Book. Edited by Patrick Meanor, State University of New York College at Oneonta and Richard E.