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The Keepers of the House

by Shirley Ann Grau

The Howland dynasty began after the War of 1812, when a young Tennessee solider fighting for Andrew Jackson settled in Alabama. Over the next century, the Howlands accumulated a fortune, fought for Secession, helped rebuild the South, and established themselves as one of the most respected families in the state. But that history means little to Abigail Howland. Though she inherited the Howland manse, her fortunes reverse when her family’s mixed-race heritage comes to light and her community—locked in the prejudices of the 1960s—turns its back on her. Faced with such deep-seated prejudice, Abigail is pushed to defend her family at all costs.

Winner of the 1965 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, The Keepers of the House is an unforgettable story of family, tradition, and racial injustice set against a richly drawn backdrop of the American South.

“A beautifully written book.”  The Atlantic Monthly

“Shirley Ann Grau is one of those rare writers who creates a world, draws the reader into it, and makes [the reader] somehow happy there no matter what goes on . . .”  Newsweek

“Her best novel.”  Saturday Review



About Shirley Ann Grau

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 relations in Alabama, earned her a Pulitzer Prize.



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