Grau’s Pulitzer Prize–winning classic, about the racial prejudice and long-buried secrets that threaten to destroy a distinguished Southern family The Howland dynasty began after the War of 1812, when a young Tennessee soldier 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. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Shirley Ann Grau, including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.
Topics: United States of America, Race Relations, Family, American South, Heiress, Family Secrets, Interracial Couples, Scandal, and Southern Gothic
Published: Open Road Media an imprint of Open Road Integrated Media on Apr 10, 2012
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I think I have read one of Anne Tyler's book before, maybe "Searching for Caleb" since I vaguely remember something about a fortune-teller. Since then I have occasionally read the blurbs on the back covers of her books when I have seen them in Waterstones, but I have never been keen enough to buy one (or even borrow it from the library).I only read this because it was picked for my on-line book club's February / March read and I wasn't really looking forward to it, but I enjoyed it way more than I had expected. It is the story of two families who become friends after picking up their newly adopted Korean daughters at Baltimore the airport at the same time, one a family of middle-class liberals and the other a family of Iranian immigrants. Each year the families hold a joint Arrival Day party to commemorate the day that Susan Yazdan (formerly Sooki) and Jin-Ho Dickinson-Donaldson became part of their families, attended by their extended families.I liked how the tale was told from multiple points of view so that I got to know both families, seeing them from both the inside and the outside. It starts with Susan's grandmother Maryam, who resents the Donaldson's and especially Jin-Ho's right-on mother Bitsy for thinking that they are always right about everything, but later on you realise that Maryam is not exactly perfect herself, being prickly and quite hypocritical, moaning about Dave showing an interest in Iranian fairly tales when it was Maryam who brought up the subject, and resenting her cousin's American husband for embracing all things Iranian.more
This book is about a family called the Luthers. In the beginning of the book, Roy Luther (the father) is sick. He has four children. Devola who is 18 and she's "cloudy-headed." Mary Call who is 14 and has to take care of the family now. Romey who is 10 and Ima Dean who is 5. Cosby Luther (the mother) died so the Luther children have no mother. Roy Luther has a stroke and is very close to dying. Mary Call is very worried because she knows that she is young and Devola can't keep a family together yet.more
Hardboiled in the best possible way, and, as with -The Yiddish Policeman's Union-, the slang and tempo will slip into your own internal conversation long before you notice. If I were to write a piece of fiction, I would pray like hell for it to be half so good.more
For some reason, on average I seem to like Pulitzer Prize winning books much better that books winning other major prizes. The Keepers of the House by Shirley Ann Grau, which won the Pulitzer in 1965 is a perfect example. It is absolutely a 5 star read as far as I'm concerned.The story takes place at a southern farm which has been owned by the Howland family for seven generations. It is narrated by Abigail, who has the farm in the mid-20th century, and centers around her life and that of her mother and grandfather. The Howlands are strong. They aren't forced out, the don't forget and they don't forgive.The books deals with the changing values and expectations through time as well as the small-mindedness and prejudices of the rural south. The impact of race is a major theme. The book was strongly condemned in the south when it was published and even led to the burning of a cross in the author's lawn. Sometimes the race theme is strongly states, other times it is a more subtle nudge. "In the South, most people could tell that Robert was a Negro. In the North, he would have been white.After Robert there was Nina....then there was Crissy, Christine. Both girls were fair with red hair like their brother's. Their other blood showed in the shape and color of their eyes, in the waxy pallor of their skins, in the color of their fingernails.And how did I know? Because I've spent my time sitting on porches on a sunny dusty afternoon, listening to the ladies talk, learning to see what they saw....They taught me my Bible lessons the exact same way. And to this day I am very good at spotting signs of Negro blood and at reciting the endless lists of genealogies in the Bible. It's a southern talent, you might say."more
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