House on Coliseum Street (Southern Writers Series)

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9780380899395: House on Coliseum Street (Southern Writers Series)

Grau's provocative 1961 novel of a New Orleans woman's heartbreaking decision, hailed as "a sad, wistful, young, timeless story, graced by this writer's finely drawn perceptions."

Joan Mitchell has two suitors, and can't decide whom to marry. With her mother Aurelie's example in mind, she'd like to skip marriage altogether. Joan and Aurelie live together in a beautiful French Quarter home on Coliseum Street in New Orleans, along with Joan's many half-sisters born of Aurelie's five disastrous marriages. Joan lives a mostly carefree life, but when she becomes pregnant, she chooses to end her pregnancy rather than marry a man she doesn't love - a decision with grave consequences in conservative 1950s New Orleans. The House on Coliseum Street is a brave, heartbreaking love letter to New Orleans, penned by one of the most acclaimed voices of the American South.

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Product Description:

Twenty-year-old Joan Mitchell has lived her entire life in the stately New Orleans house on Coliseum Street, where her mother and half sister have steadily undermined her self-regard. To Joan, her fate seems sealed and strangely inconsequential. Then a brief affair with Michael Kern, a man she knows to be a cad but is drawn to anyway, unfurls for her a surreal sequence of events-pregnancy, an abortion, and eventually withdrawal into a numbed existence. Only a growing obsession with Michael and a yearning to fill her cavernous loneliness spur Joan to any premeditated action. An intricate psychological novel that plumbs the pain and rage born of identity and volition suppressed, The House on Coliseum Street is an arresting, somber story that transcends period and place even as it so immediately evokes New Orleans in the late 1950s.

From the Back Cover:

To twenty-year-old Joan Mitchell, her fate seems sealed and strangely inconsequential: inheritance of the stately New Orleans house she shares with her oppressive mother and undermining half-sister, and marriage to an ill-matched steady boyfriend. Then a brief affair with Michael Kern, a man she knows to be a cad but is drawn to anyway, unfurls for Joan a surrealistic sequence of events - pregnancy, an abortion, and eventually withdrawal into a numbed existence. Only her growing obsession with Michael and her cavernous loneliness lend her life direction. An intricate psychological novel that plumbs the pain and rage born of identity and volition suppressed, The House on Coliseum Street is an arresting, somber story that transcends period and place even as it so immediately evokes New Orleans in the late 1950s.

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Shirley Ann Grau
Published by Avon Books (Mm) (1986)
ISBN 10: 0380899396 ISBN 13: 9780380899395
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Grau, Shirley Ann
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