Called one of the most famous short stories of American literature, this book by Shirley Jackson (left) has nothing to do with the lottery as we know it.
"The Lottery" is a short story by American author Shirley Jackson. It was first published in the June 26, 1948, issue of The New Yorker magazine. It’s not light reading.
The story describes a fictional small town in contemporary America which observes an annual rite known as "the lottery". The purpose of the lottery is to choose a human sacrificial victim to be stoned to death to ensure the community's continued well being.
Response to the story was negative - mainly for its surprise ending. Readers canceled subscriptions and sent hate mail throughout the summer. But since then for some unknown reason, the story is ranked today as "one of the most famous short stories in the history of American literature" according to Wikipedia.