Shirley Ann Grau




Born in New Orleans, Shirley Ann Grau's work is set primarily in the Deep South and explores issues of race and gender. She spent much of her childhood in rural Alabama with her mother. Grau graduated in 1950 from Newcomb College of Tulane University. Her 1964 saga The Keepers of the House was awarded the 1965 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.


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Louisiana Writer Award Recipient, 2004


The House on Coliseum Street - 2013 One Book, One Festival Selection

Twenty-year-old Joan Mitchell has lived her entire life in the stately New Orleans house on Coliseum Street, where her mother and half-sister have steadily undermined her self-regard. To Joan, her fate seems sealed and strangely inconsequential. Then a brief affair with Michael Kern, a man she knows to be a cad but is drawn to anyway, unfurls for her a surreal sequence of events — pregnancy, an abortion and, eventually, withdrawal into a numbed existence. Only a growing obsession with Michael and a yearning to fill her cavernous loneliness spur Joan to any premeditated action. An intricate psychological novel that plumbs the pain and rage born of identity and volition suppressed, The House on Coliseum Street is an arresting, somber story that transcends period and place even as it so immediately evokes New Orleans in the late 1950s.


Book-loving volunteers are essential to the Louisiana Book Festival's success. Whether it's escorting authors, guiding visitors, selling refreshments, working with children in the Young Readers Pavilion or other fun and rewarding assignments, the Louisiana Book Festival wants you to join the volunteer team.

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