Southern Scribe
    our culture of storytelling

 

Short Story Collection Review    

 

 

Selected Stories
By Shirley Ann Grau
L.S.U. Press, 2003
Hardcover, $29.95 (274 pages)
ISBN: 0-8071-2883-X
 
 
 

Shirley Ann Grau grew up in Louisiana and Alabama, and now divides her time between Metairie (a suburb of New Orleans) and Martha's Vineyard. Each place finds its way into her short stories and sensibility. While her work is often compared to that of Eudora Welty and Flannery O'Connor, she also owes a debt to John Updike and John Cheever. Like Welty and O'Connor, place is central to her work; like Updike and Cheever, she writes about the quiet desperation in the human heart. 

The eighteen stories in this collection represent a sampling of the author's work from 1955 through 1985, and were taken from the collections, The Black Prince and Other Stories, The Wind Shifting West, and Nine Women

Grau writes about the stages in women's lives with great compassion. She instinctively understands that love and power are intertwined; the ways the rich and poor need one another; and the emotional costs of being beautiful or plain. The undertones of sadness in marriages are impossible to miss. 

In addition to her short stories, Grau has published five novels, including The Keepers of the House (winner of the 1965 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) and The House on Coliseum Street. In a perfect world, her Selected Short Stories will encourage the serious reader to seek out her earlier works.

 

Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews
 

2004, Southern Scribe Reviews, All Rights Reserved