Posted on August 10, 2020 at 2:48 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Shirley Ann Grau, a Southern writer whose work drew the ire of the Ku Klux Klan, has died at age ninety-one.

The New York Times reports that Grau passed away August 3 of complications from a stroke.

Her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Keepers of the House was the best-known of her work, which mostly depicted life in its beauty — and darkness — in the deep South.

It was that tale that inspired the KKK to attempt to light a burning cross on her lawn, because it told of a white man’s long, secret relationship with his Black housekeeper.

Grau told the Associated Press in 2003 that the KKK’s threat barely registered with her, beyond its “Groucho Marx ending.” 

Read more about Grau and her work in her obituary.

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