Arion Lyre

91. The Sundial by Shirley Jackson, with an introduction by Diane Johnson, and with illustrations by Miles Hyman

The Sundial by Shirley Jackson, with an introduction by Diane Johnson, and with fifteen color illustrations by Miles Hyman, June 2011.

A classic of American comic fiction, The Sundial by Shirley Jackson (1916-1965), exemplifies her blend of humor, fantasy, and social satire. The Arion Press edition has special relevance in being illustrated by the novelist’s grandson, Miles Hyman, who brings his own understanding of the author to the characters he depicts and his selection of accompanying quotations from the novel.

One of the prominent young writers of the 1950s, who died when she was only 48, Jackson is famous for her controversial New Yorker story, “The Lottery”. The Sundial, written ten years later, is the work New Yorker critic Joseph Mitchell called her best. Here Jackson’s subject is the end of the world, as it is imagined and meticulously prepared for by a privileged New England family. As Diane Johnson writes in her introduction to the Arion edition, “Its timeless quality has ensured that the pleasures of this small delicious novel have endured. Like Animal Farm, it has something permanently important to say about human society, in this case about fear, power, and leadership.”

M

Shirley Jackson made a distinctive contribution to the literature of suburban angst and domestic dysfunction associated with the 1950s. Today her work, including the novels The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, is newly appreciated, as marked in 2010 by her inclusion in the Library of America series, and several film adaptations underway.

For The Sundial, Miles Hyman has made fourteen double-page illustrations plus an image for the endpapers, all in full color. The illustrations appear in the middle of the sixteen-page sewing sections. On the reverse recto appears a caption, citing the chapter, giving the subject, and providing an excerpt from the book relating to the scene depicted.

Miles Hyman is an American painter and illustrator living in Paris. He is the grandson of the author Shirley Jackson and brings a deep understanding of her life and work to this project. As an illustrator he has worked for the newspaper Le Monde, The New Yorker and the New York Times.

Diane Johnson is a leading figure in American letters: a novelist, essayist, critic, and screenwriter. She is known for her comic sensibility and occupies an admired place as an observer of the humorous and absurd in contemporary fiction and in society. In a series of novels, Johnson has made her subject American expatriate life in Paris, producing Le Divorce, Le Mariage, and L’Affaire.

The Arion Press edition format is large octavo, 10-1/4 by 6-1/2 inches, 226 pages plus 56 unnumbered pages for the illustrations, 282 total. The text pages are printed by letterpress from Fridericus type in Monotype composition, with Winchell type handset for display, on Zerkall Book, a German mouldmade paper. The illustrations are printed by four-color offset lithography on McCoy Silk Book. The binding is full cloth with an inset panel on the front cover, with a detail of a sundial in color from the endpaper image, and a spine titling label. The edition is limited to 300 numbered copies for sale and 26 lettered copies for complimentary distribution. The price is $500. Available.

Reserve now and pay offline:

Reserve your copy

Order securely online now:


Go to title: 90. South of Heaven 92. A Delicate Balance


Search Arion Press

Artist, Author, Title, or Keyword


Edition: The format is large octavo, 10-1/4 by 6-1/2 inches, 226 pages plus 56 unnumbered pages for the illustrations, 282 total. The binding is full cloth with an inset panel on the front cover. The edition is limited to 300 numbered copies for sale. The price is $500.

For a 30% discount consider subscribing.

Order securely online now:

Reserve now and pay offline:

Reserve your copy


Read more about the novel, the artist, and the introduction.