“The Lottery,” Shirley Jackson, 1948 — Residents of a small town sacrifice one of their own in an ancient lottery ritual.
Comments: Themes of sacrifice, violence, lack of empathy, ritual. Critical interpretations have linked it to instances of religious dissent and drawn parallels with Islam. (Wikipedia) After the story was published in The New Yorker, protests included hate mail and canceled subscriptions. “The Lottery” is now considered a classic American short story. Jackson said of it:
“Explaining just what I had hoped the story to say is very difficult. I suppose, I hoped, by setting a particularly brutal ancient rite in the present and in my own village to shock the story’s readers with a graphic dramatization of the pointless violence and general inhumanity in their own lives.” (Wikipedia)
Author: Wikipedia: “Shirley Hardie Jackson (December 14, 1916 – August 8, 1965) was an American author. A popular writer in her time, her work has received increasing attention from literary critics in recent years. She has influenced such writers as Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Nigel Kneale and Richard Matheson.”