Shirley Ann Grau

Shirley Ann Grau

in New Orleans, The United States
July 08, 1929



Shirley Ann Grau (b. 1929) is a Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist of nine novels and short story collections, whose work is set primarily in her native South. Grau was raised in Alabama and Louisiana, and many of her novels document the broad social changes of the Deep South during the twentieth century, particularly as they affected African Americans. Grau’s first novel, The Hard Blue Sky (1958), about the descendants of European pioneers living on an island off the coast of Louisiana, established her as a master of vivid description, both for characters and locale, a style she maintained throughout her career. Her public profile rose during the civil rights movement, when her dynastic novel Keepers of the House (1964), which dealt with race ...more

Average rating: 3.9 · 6,984 ratings · 681 reviews · 23 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Keepers of the House

3.92 avg rating — 5,762 ratings — published 1964 — 29 editions
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The House on Coliseum Street

3.72 avg rating — 177 ratings — published 1961 — 8 editions
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3.58 avg rating — 195 ratings — published 1994 — 9 editions
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The Condor Passes

3.81 avg rating — 163 ratings — published 1971 — 13 editions
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The Hard Blue Sky

3.70 avg rating — 124 ratings — published 1955 — 9 editions
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Nine Women

3.70 avg rating — 57 ratings — published 1985 — 9 editions
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The Black Prince and Other ...

3.71 avg rating — 21 ratings — published 1955 — 8 editions
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Selected Stories

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 10 ratings — published 2003 — 2 editions
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Evidence Of Love

3.82 avg rating — 11 ratings — published 1977 — 3 editions
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The Wind Shifting West

4.56 avg rating — 9 ratings — published 1973 — 3 editions
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“And you remember how warm bourbon tasted, in a paper cup with water dipped out of the lake at your feet. How the nights were so unbearably, hauntingly beautiful that you wanted to cry. How every patch of light and shadow from the moon seemed deep and lovely. Calm or storm, it didn't matter. It was exquisite and mysterious, just because it was night. I wonder now how I lost it, the mysteriousness, the wonder. It faded steadily until one day it was entirely gone, and night became just dark, and the moon was only something that waxed and waned and heralded a changing in the weather. And rain just washed out graveled roads. The glitter was gone. And the worst part was that you didn't know exactly at what point it disappeared. There was nothing you could point to and say: now, there. One day you saw that it was missing and had been missing for a long time. It wasn't even anything to grieve over, it had been such a long time passing. The glitter and hush-breath quality just slipped away...there isn't even a scene--not for me, nothing so definite--just the seepage, the worms of time...I look at my children now and I think: how long before they slip away, before I am disappointed in them.”
Shirley Ann Grau, The Keepers of the House

“Everyone tells stories around here. Every place, every
person has a ring of stories around them, a halo almost.
People have told me tales ever since I was a tiny girl
squatting in the front dooryard, in mud-caked overalls,
digging for doodlebugs. They have talked to me, and
talked to me. some I've forgotten, but most I remember.
And so my memory goes back before my birth”
Shirley Ann Grau

“These were our monuments, the physical signs of our passing, in the color of the door, in the screw holes and the edge marks of our sign. They held the shadow of us. Our ghosts lingered at this corner.”
Shirley Ann Grau, Roadwalkers


November 2017 New School Poll

  82 votes, 27.7%

The Godfather by Mario Puzo, 448 pages, 1969
  65 votes, 22.0%

Chess Story by Stefan Zweig, 104 pages, 1941
  31 votes, 10.5%

Possession by A.S. Byatt, 555 pages, 1990
  24 votes, 8.1%

Empire of the Sun by J.G. Ballard, 351 pages, 1984
  23 votes, 7.8%

Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse, 256 pages, 1927
  23 votes, 7.8%

  20 votes, 6.8%

Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut Jr., 318 pages, 1987
  13 votes, 4.4%

  8 votes, 2.7%

The Heat of the Day by Elizabeth Bowen, 372 pages, 1948
  7 votes, 2.4%


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