‘The Lottery’ by Shirley Jackson

Published in the New Yorker in 1948, The Lottery has long been considered the best short story of all time. A small American town performs an annual ritual of running a lottery, where its inhabitants draw lots to see which one will be sacrificed to a death by stoning. Jackson is so skilful in placing the unimaginable firmly in realism, that when first published, some readers were utterly convinced and consequently horrified that this was an actual event in a real town. Truly one of the best short stories I have ever read it makes for tense and deeply unnerving read.  

First published in The New Yorker in June 1948 and available online to subscribers here. Widely collected, including in The Lottery and Other Stories, Penguin 2009

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