Davis Grubb

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Davis Grubb (July 23, 1919 – July 24, 1980) was an American novelist and short story writer.


Born in Moundsville, West Virginia, Grubb wanted to combine his creative skills as a painter with writing and as such attended the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. However, his color blindness was a handicap he could not overcome and he gave up on painting to dedicate himself to writing fiction. He did, however, make a number of drawings and sketches during the course of his career, some of which were incorporated into his writings.

In 1940, Grubb moved to New York City where he worked at NBC radio as a writer while using his free time to write short stories. In the mid-1940s he was successful in selling several short stories to major magazines and in the early 1950s he started writing a full length novel. Influenced by accounts of economic hardship by depression-era Americans that his mother had seen firsthand as a social worker, Grubb produced a dark tale that mixed the plight of poor children and adults with that of the evil inflicted by others. The Night of the Hunter became an instant bestseller and was voted a finalist for the 1955 National Book Award. That same year, the book was made into a motion picture that is now regarded as a classic. Deemed "culturally significant" by the Library of Congress, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

Grubb went on to write a further nine novels and several collections of short stories. His 1969 novel Fools' Parade would also be made into a motion picture starring James Stewart. Some of Grubb's short stories were adapted for television by Alfred Hitchcock and by Rod Serling for his Night Gallery series.

Grubb died in New York City in 1980. His novel Ancient Lights was published posthumously in 1982, and St. Martins Press published 18 of his short stories in a book collection titled You Never Believe Me and Other Stories.


Story Collections:

  • Twelve Tales of Suspense and the Supernatural (aka One Foot in the Grave (UK title) (1964)
  • 1) Busby's Rat
  • 2) The Rabbit Prince
  • 3) Radio
  • 4) One Foot in the Grave
  • 5) Moonshine
  • 6) The Man Who Stole the Moon
  • 7) Nobody's Watching
  • 8) The Horsehair Trunk
  • 9) The Blue Glass Bottle
  • 10) Wynken, Blynken and Nod
  • 11) Return of Verge Likens
  • 12) Where the Woodbine Twineth aka You Never Believe Me

Also in You Never Believe Me

  • The Siege of 318: Thirteen Mystical Stories (1978)
  • West Virginia Stories
  • 1)The Siege of 318
  • 2)The Burlap Bag
  • 3)Fifty of the Blue
  • 4)Germinal
  • 5)A Pair of Spectacles
  • 6)Every Road I Walked Along
  • 7)The Idiot
  • 8)Bitter Almonds

New York Stories

  • 9)The Stainless Steel Savior
  • 10)The Baby Sitter

Louisiana Stories

  • 11)A Swipe of the Brush
  • 12)The Scar
  • 13)An Even Stranger Fruit

Also in You Never Believe Me

  • You Never Believe Me and Other Stories (1989)
  • 1)You Never Believe Me
  • 2)Fifty of the Blue
  • 3)Bitter Almonds
  • 4)The Stainless Steel Savior
  • 5)And Presently He Died
  • 6)The Nightwatchman's Daughter
  • 7)Love Pants
  • 8)Every Road I Walk Along
  • 9)Last of the Chiefs
  • 10)Return of Verge Likens
  • 11)The Crest of '36
  • 12)The Last Days of Poncho Pete
  • 13)Magenta Blue
  • 14)Picayune Pete and the Ninety-Proof Cow
  • 15)Green Woman
  • 16)Checker-Playing Fool
  • 17)The Horsehair Trunk
  • 18)Tally Vengeance—a chapter from The Voices of Glory

Also in Twelve Tales

Also in The Siege of 318


Unpublished Manuscript:

TYPED MANUSCRIPT SIGNED (TMsS). 202 leaves, typedon rectos of plain letter-size paper, single-spaced, carbon copy with some handwritten corrections, dated "Summer - Autumn, 1974 / Bayou Teche,Louisiana." A novel set in Hollywood in 1958, a world of sex, drugs—and murder—and opens with a medium's prediction of the death of a young male movie star. The manuscript is bound into a black binder with Grubb's name, title and "Second Draft Autumn 1974" typed on paper labels affixed to front cover. The manuscript is inscribed by Grubb: "For Weeda -- who may find this amusing -- this latest of my books to be returned as unsalable. Peace, D." The author has also signed the manuscript in full at the bottom of the title page along with his trademark drawing of a flower. Covers a little scuffed, a bit of carbon smearing here and there, else fine. (#104631)

Retrieved from www.ilab.org, November 11, 2009.

Unpublished Novels:

  • By 1950...the short story market was rapidly diminishing, and Grubb turned his focus to the novel. He wrote two novels that would remain unpublished, Not in Our Stars and And Spring Came On Forever, before The Night of the Hunter was published in 1953.[1]


TYPED MANUSCRIPT (TMs).110 leaves, top copy, single-spaced, typed on rectos only of plain letter-size paper, with numerous handwritten corrections throughout. This script is set in the South in 1975 and deals with a variety of social issues: race relations, religious bigotry, drugs, organized crime. It is what used to be called a "message movie"—earnest and talky. It has not been produced, making this one of a handful of copies or perhaps the only copy of the text. Grubb published two well-regarded short story collections in the supernatural horror genre. Faint creases on a few pages, covers a little scuffed, else fine. Bound in black binder with typed paper labels affixed to front cover. (#104630)

Retrieved from www.ilab.org, November 11, 2009.


  1. ^ http://www.wvwc.edu/library/wv_authors/authors/a_grubb.htm
  2. ^ Louis Grubb in his Introduction to his brother Davis's story collection You Never Believe Me, New York, St Martins Press p. ix, 1989

External links[edit]