"The Lottery" is a short story written by Shirley Jackson, first published in the June 26, 1948, issue of The New Yorker.The story describes a fictional small town in contemporary America, which observes an annual rite known as "the lottery", in which a member of the community is selected by chance to be stoned to death. It is implied in the story that the lottery is practiced to ensure the community's continued well being.
Readers' initial negative response surprised both Jackson and The New Yorker: subscriptions were cancelled, and much hate mail was received throughout the summer of its first publication, while the Union of South Africa banned the story.The story has been dramatized several times and subjected to much sociological and literary analysis, and has been described as one of the most famous short stories in the history of American literature.
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date of publication: 1948
genre: speculative fiction