Shirley Ann Grau

Franklin Library Shirley Ann Grau

Franklin Library Shirley Ann Grau books

Evidence of Love - limited first edition ( not signed ) - 1977
The Keepers of the House - Pulitzer Prize classics - 1977
Nine Women - signed first edition - 1986

Author Shirley Ann Grau

Shirley Ann Grau (1929-2020) was an American novelist celebrated for her insightful exploration of Southern life and culture. Born on July 8, 1929, in New Orleans, Louisiana, Grau grew up in a region rich with history and tradition, which would later serve as a profound influence on her writing. Grau attended Newcomb College in New Orleans and earned a degree in literature. She embarked on her literary career in the 1950s, publishing short stories in various magazines. In 1955, she gained widespread recognition with the publication of her first novel, "The Hard Blue Sky." This debut work laid the foundation for her reputation as a keen observer of the complexities within Southern society.

Her breakthrough came with the novel The Keepers of the House, published in 1964. This poignant tale, set in Alabama, spans several generations of a Southern family and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1965. The novel delves into themes of race, class, and familial relationships, showcasing Grau's ability to craft intricate narratives that resonate with readers on a profound level. Over the years, Shirley Ann Grau continued to produce a body of work that explored the intricacies of Southern life. Her novels often depicted the changing social dynamics in the South, tackling issues such as racial tensions and the evolving role of women. Notable works include The House on Coliseum Street (1961), The Condor Passes (1971), and Roadwalkers (1994).

Grau's writing is characterized by its lyrical prose, deep characterizations, and a keen sense of place. While her output may not have been prolific, each of her works was crafted with meticulous attention to detail and a commitment to exploring the nuances of human relationships and societal shifts. In recognition of her contributions to literature, Shirley Ann Grau received numerous accolades, including the PEN/Hemingway Award for Best First Novel and the Cleanth Brooks Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Southern Literature. Shirley Ann Grau passed away on August 3, 2020, in her home in Kenner, Louisiana. Her legacy endures through her thought-provoking novels, which continue to be appreciated for their exploration of Southern culture and the human experience.

Shirley Ann Grau, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for her novel, The Keepers of the House. Grau belongs in the company of the great southern short story writers, and the author's own choices of her best work remind readers of the unmatched capacity of the brief fictional form to depict character epiphany and such timeless themes as redemption and rebirth, the struggle between power and love, and the persistence of the past author Shirley Ann Grau grew up in.


The Keepers of the House

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1965, The Keepers of the House is Shirley Ann Grau’s masterwork, a many-layered indictment of racism and rage that is as terrifying as it is wise.

Entrenched on the same land since the early 1800s, the Howlands have, for seven generations, been pillars of their Southern community. Extraordinary family lore has been passed down to Abigail Howland, but not all of it. When shocking facts come to light about her late grandfather William’s relationship with Margaret Carmichael, a black housekeeper, the community is outraged, and quickly gathers to vent its fury on Abigail. Alone in the house the Howlands built, she is at once shaken by those who have betrayed her, and determined to punish the town that has persecuted her and her kin.

Morally intricate, graceful and suspenseful, The Keepers of the House has become a modern classic.

Nine Women

Tells the stories of women facing turning points in their lives, from divorce to survival of a plane crash.

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