Shirley Ann Grau

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Shirley Ann Grau
Born (1929-07-08) July 8, 1929 (age 90)
New Orleans, U.S

Shirley Ann Grau (born July 8, 1929) is an American writer. She was born in New Orleans,[1] and her work is set primarily in the Deep South[1] and explores issues of race and gender.

She lived during much of her childhood in and around Montgomery and Selma, Alabama with her mother.[2] She graduated in 1950 Phi Sigma Kappa[3] with a B.A, from Newcomb College, the women's coordinate college of Tulane University.[4] Her collection of stories, The Black Prince, was nominated for the National Book Award in 1956.[citation needed]

Her 1964 saga The Keepers of the House was awarded the 1965 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.[5][6] The night she was called about the Pulitzer Prize, she thought it was a practical joke from a friend whose voice she thought she recognized. ""I was awfully short-tempered that morning because I'd been up all night with one of my children," Grau said ... "So, I said to the voice I mistook, 'yeah and I'm the Queen of England too,' and I hung up on him."" The Pulitzer Prize committee member didn't give up and called her publisher Alfred A. Knopf. "The news got to me, but that was very embarrassing."[7]

Her writing explores issues of death, destruction, abortion, and miscegenation, frequently set in the past in Alabama[8] or Louisiana. Although she does not restrict her writing to the deep South or to stories about women, she is recognized as an important writer in the fields of women's studies, feminist literature, and Southern literature.[9]


  • The Black Prince, and Other Stories (short stories; 1955)[4]
  • The Hard Blue Sky (1958)[4]
  • The House on Coliseum Street (1961)[4]
  • The Keepers of the House (1964)[4]
  • The Condor Passes (1971)[4]
  • The Wind Shifting West (short stories; 1973)[4]
  • Evidence of Love (1977)[4]
  • Nine Women (short stories; 1986)[4]
  • Roadwalkers (1994)[4]
  • Selected Stories (2006)


  1. ^ a b "Shirley Ann Grau, Never Backing Down". The Washington Post. December 26, 2003. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2011.
  2. ^ "Interview with Deep South Magazine". Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  3. ^ "Shirley Ann Grau Biography". Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Grau, Shirley Ann". Contemporary Novelists. January 1, 2001. Retrieved January 8, 2011.[dead link]
  5. ^ "Pulitzer Winner Writes Between Domestic Crises". Edmonton Journal. July 5, 1965. p. 13. Retrieved January 8, 2011.
  6. ^ Allen-Taylor, J. Douglas (1998). "The World According To Grau", Metro Newspaper, San Jose, California (February 26, 1998)
  7. ^ "The Undramatic Life of Shirley Ann Grau". Deep South Magazine. October 31, 2013. Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  8. ^ "Shirley Ann Grau profile". Encyclopedia of Alabama. Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  9. ^ "Shirley Ann Grau - Know Louisiana". Know Louisiana. Retrieved July 4, 2017.