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The Keepers of the House

Cover of The Keepers of the House

The Keepers of the House

Entrenched on the same land since the early 1800s, the Howlands have for seven generations been pillars of their Southern community. Extraordinary family lore has been passed down to Abigail—the last remaining member of the esteemed family and the last keeper of the house—but not all of it.

When shocking facts come to light about the late William Howland's secret marriage to his black housekeeper, the community quickly gathers to vent its outrage upon Abigail and the Howland house itself.

Shaken but defiant, Abigail—compelled to go back through the family history in order to understand herself, her father, and the South—will now, in the name of all her brothers and sisters, take her bitter revenge on the small-minded Southern town that has shamed them and persecuted them but will never destroy them.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1965, The Keepers of the House is Shirley Ann Grau's masterwork, a many-layered indictment of racism and rage that is as terrifying as it is wise. Morally intricate, graceful and suspenseful, it has become a modern classic.

Entrenched on the same land since the early 1800s, the Howlands have for seven generations been pillars of their Southern community. Extraordinary family lore has been passed down to Abigail—the last remaining member of the esteemed family and the last keeper of the house—but not all of it.

When shocking facts come to light about the late William Howland's secret marriage to his black housekeeper, the community quickly gathers to vent its outrage upon Abigail and the Howland house itself.

Shaken but defiant, Abigail—compelled to go back through the family history in order to understand herself, her father, and the South—will now, in the name of all her brothers and sisters, take her bitter revenge on the small-minded Southern town that has shamed them and persecuted them but will never destroy them.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1965, The Keepers of the House is Shirley Ann Grau's masterwork, a many-layered indictment of racism and rage that is as terrifying as it is wise. Morally intricate, graceful and suspenseful, it has become a modern classic.

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About the Author-
  • Shirley Ann Grau, born in New Orleans in 1929, has spent most of her adult life in the Creole region. Not surprisingly, the powerful works of this major American author often reflect the isolated bayous and their French-speaking residents, but her fiction is equally at home with the fiercely independent people of small Southern towns and the sophisticated upper class of New Orleans. Her critically acclaimed first book, The Black Prince and Other Stories, established her as a talented new writer, and her fifth, The Keepers of the House, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1965.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine What a privilege to discover an older book that turns out to be better than most contemporary fiction. We can thank Blackstone for this pleasure as we follow the Howland family over three eventful generations in the deep South. Given the quality of the writing, it's not surprising that the book won the Pulitzer in 1965. In an equally distinguished audio version, Anna Fields's dramatic reading brings each of the Howlands vividly to life. Since reproducing Southern accents often trips up even the most accomplished narrator, it's gratifying to hear a Southern voice that is totally convincing. J.C. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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