Elisabeth Moss and Michael Stuhlbarg have been set to star in the feature film Shirley, about the famed horror author Shirley Jackson. The film will be the next from Madeline's Madeline director Josephine Decker, adapted by I Love Dick's Sarah Gubbins from Susan Scarf Merrell’s book of the same name. The film is scheduled to go before the cameras this summer.

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This homage psycho­-thriller, starring the illustrious Jackson, paints a partly true, partly fictitious portrait of a writer about whom many 21st-century fans know little. Merrell brilliantly weaves events from Jackson’s life into a hypnotic story line that will please Jackson fans as well as anyone in search of a solidly written literary thriller. And it’s far from derivative. Its merit lies in its inventiveness even as it draws inspiration from Jackson’s own stories....One of the best things about Shirley is that you don’t have to be familiar with Jackson’s stories to enjoy it. But old fans and the newly curious will want to reach for “The Lottery” and revel in its timeless gothic perfection.
— Carol Memmott, Washington Post Book World
Shirley, at its core, is about exactly that kind of connection: the one that endures despite all else. From the outside, these relationships can look like duty or desperation or simply two people who have given up on finding real happiness in exchange for certitude. The brilliance of Jackson’s life and Merrell’s writing is that they convey the depth and beauty of this kind of connection, showing that it isn’t an endurance exercise, but rather the scarred-but-surviving tree that grows from a root of unrivaled strength: Love. Like Jackson herself, love endures. In the end, Shirley is a love story, albeit an unexpected and uncomfortable one—perhaps the only kind that could ever be told by or about Shirley Jackson.
— Hugh Ryan, The Daily Beast
Merrell’s hauntingly quiet novel is a story of marriage, of what we do to hurt the ones we love most and how far people will go to protect the vows they made when they were too young to understand them.
— Ivy Pochoda, Los Angeles Review of Books
Jackson has always been one of the more intriguing and misunderstood writers of her generation, a woman writer at the cusp of feminism’s second wave who nevertheless was erroneously dismissed for writing mere ‘domestic fiction.’ Merrell brings this complicated and compelling woman to life through the kind of taut and intimate thriller Jackson herself would have been proud to call her own.
— Booklist
...unsolved mystery stokes an atmosphere of quiet menace. Her decision to blend fact and fiction adds to a lingering sense of uncertainty, with set pieces—including a cameo for Bernard Malamud—providing comic relief. A sidelong portrait of a category-defying writer dovetails surprisingly snugly with the drama of one young woman’s coming-of-age.
— Kirkus Reviews
In this elegant, disturbing and propulsive literary novel, Merrell imagines an intense and troubled relationship with the author Shirley Jackson—and in so doing finds a new way to explore a reader’s sometimes ecstatic love for a favorite author. An unusual and arresting blend of fiction and homage.
— Helen Schulman, author of This Beautiful Life
Susan Scarf Merrell writes about desire, female friendship, and obsession with a true storyteller’s sense of the human heart. Shirley Jackson and her husband Stanley Hyman, giants in the world of twentieth century letters, make for a brilliant intersection of vivid fiction and literary myth set in the vortex that is North Bennington, Vermont. Shirley is a love story that will keep you up all night.
— Susan Cheever, author of e.e. cummings, a life
To the great literature of obsession we can now add Susan Scarf Merrell’s brilliant and captivating Shirley, a novel as full of passion and intrigue as any traditional love story. The twist is that the obsessive in these pages is a quiet young academic wife and the object of her fascination is none other than gothic storyteller Shirley Jackson. A fantastically original book.
— Ann Packer, author of The Children's Crusade

Click here to view Shirley on Goodreads.