365 Days of Women Writers

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Day 40: Come Along With Me by Shirley Jackson

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It’s a bit of a weird thing to read a fragment of an unfinished novel that you know will never be finished, never know where the author intended to go.  You never. Know if you will be letting yourself in for unending curiosity about where it might have gone and how it might have resolved.  Still, sometimes it’s worth that risk of diving in.

Come Along With Me is the novel Shirley Jackson was working on when she died. There’s only around 30 pages, so it never gets much beyond introducing us to the main character who has recently lost her husband and has sold her home and all her belongings and moved to the city.  She has abandoned her old life so completely. That she’s even  given up her name:

I though of Jean and Helen and Margaret, but I know people called by all those names, and perhaps I would not enjoy answering to them; I though of Gertrude and Goneril and I thought of Diana, which was dead wrong and Minerva, which was closer but silly. I knew I had to think of something right away, and I got a little chill at the back of my neck; what is really more frightening than being without a name, nothing to call yourself, nothing to say when they ask you who you are? Then it fell on me; I heard it: Angela. It was right, Angela was the name I had come all this way to find.y the end of the fragment 

The rest of it was easy. I had said it already. Angela Motorman. Mrs. Angela Motorman.

Angela Motorman is a really good name, and I bet it would have been a wonderful book.  Angela can see and hear things no One else can and by the end of the fragment she’d already held one dubious seance.

Written by Chance

October 28, 2010 at 12:49 am