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Nine Women by Shirley Ann Grau

Nine Women by Shirley Ann Grau

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Published by OpenRoadMedia
Grau’s insightful and mesmerizing collection of stories, about nine Southern women unified by their search for happiness in the face of overwhelming odds

The nine namesake women of this collection come from all levels of New Orleans society, from the daughters of servants to affluent ladies. All, however, struggle with grief, longing, and hope. In “Widows Walk,” for instance, Myra Rowland tries to make sense of life after the death of her husband. “In the Beginning” depicts a daughter trying to understand her own mother’s determination to raise her up from abject poverty. “Ending,” meanwhile, tells of a couple whose union dissolves just as their daughter marries. In many cases, these protagonists are struggling to accept the sudden loss of life and love in a land teeming with both.

Grau is one of America’s most masterful storytellers, a writer with an eye for the teeming diversity of life in the Deep South.
Grau’s insightful and mesmerizing collection of stories, about nine Southern women unified by their search for happiness in the face of overwhelming odds

The nine namesake women of this collection come from all levels of New Orleans society, from the daughters of servants to affluent ladies. All, however, struggle with grief, longing, and hope. In “Widows Walk,” for instance, Myra Rowland tries to make sense of life after the death of her husband. “In the Beginning” depicts a daughter trying to understand her own mother’s determination to raise her up from abject poverty. “Ending,” meanwhile, tells of a couple whose union dissolves just as their daughter marries. In many cases, these protagonists are struggling to accept the sudden loss of life and love in a land teeming with both.

Grau is one of America’s most masterful storytellers, a writer with an eye for the teeming diversity of life in the Deep South.

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Published by: OpenRoadMedia on May 21, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/04/2014

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Hunter
 AS THE PLANE BEGAN its descent into Clarksdale, Nancy Martinson stretched and sighed, closed her magazine and tucked itaway neatly. Her husband and younger daughter slept soundly in theseats next to her; across the aisle her other daughter worked acrossword puzzle.Outside the brilliant morning sunshine thinned to a yellow hazy glow. On the ground below, patches of fog shrouded the neatly plowed cornfields and clung to the brushy sides of the hills. The plane banked, circled; she saw a black strip of highway and a single car onit.The engines slowed, changed tone, settling the plane for its finalapproach. With a soft hiss, the wheels went down. Thick gray fog wiped the window empty.She sat back, rubbing her neck, dutifully checking her seat belt, waiting for the landing, watching the fog-obscured window. And saw a tree race past, leaves spattering like rain against the window Somebody has thrown a tree at us, she thought foolishly. How can that be.The floor rose, lurching hard against her feet. She was shaken
Shirley Ann Grau
NINE WOMEN
 
 
like a rag doll, so violently she could scarcely breathe. She wrappedher arms around her body, holding on, while her head poundedagainst the seat back. Her knees jerked up, beating against hercrossed arms. She heard loud squeals like tires on pavement and asteady high-pitched metallic whine. And voices, massed voices like achurch choir far away. But no, she thought with sluggish wonder,those were screams.She held tightly to herself as she careened through flashes of light and dark, through roaring oceans of sound. Shaking violently like a flag snapping in the wind. A yellow column of flame appeared in the aisle. Glittering,shining. The color of sun, burning like sun.She saw her daughter—recognized the blue and white stripes of her dress—saw her daughter, arms outstretched, rise to meet it. Passthrough the gleaming gateway and vanish.Next to her, her husband was rising, stretching. She saw clearly the initial on his shirt sleeve. He reached for her, missed, called toher. Before he vanished in the brilliant light.She too would follow.… But the arms wrapped around her body refused to loosen their grip. Her feet stamped down against thelurching floor and found nothing there. She struggled, bent double,thrashing from side to side.Then she was free. In silence, in complete and perfect silence,she floated slowly through air that was sprinkled and speckled withglitter. Fell forever along rainbows like giant playground slides.Ended at last with trees bending over her, surrounding her. To holdthem back, she lifted her hands straight out in front of her, fingersspread. All around her small lives went on, undisturbed. Grass broke
Shirley Ann Grau
NINE WOMEN

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