Alumni Author of the Month, April: Gloria Whelan, ’45, MSW’48

Alumni Author of the Month, April: Gloria Whelan, ’45, MSW’48

Book cover of Living Toegether

Check out our Alumni Author Series for more books by U-M graduates.

About the Book

In “Living Together,” U-M alumna Gloria Whelan explores people who coexist and reach a crisis point. Whether her characters are old or young, male or female, in settings that are urban or rural, they wrestle with anger, loneliness, and frustration, but ultimately demonstrate bravery, trust, determination, and, often, the ability to learn something new. In this new collection of short stories and a novella, this Michigan author and winner of the National Book Award shows her versatility. Known as a writer for young readers, the new book will be a welcome discovery for readers of fiction for adults.

“Living Together,” which is part of the Made in Michigan Writers Series, presents a variety of scenarios of people dwelling with one another, coming together, or breaking apart. The subdued lives of older women are shaken by a scandalous invasion; a man looks around him to discover he will be living the rest of his life in the wrong place with the wrong people; a married couple, grown apart, find themselves locked together; suburbanites reach out tenta-tively to the distant city; a house and the ghosts who inhabit it change lives. A final section contains Whelan’s novella, “Keeping Your Place,” which follows a family as their lives and their home change during the years of the Vietnam War. After the loss of her husband, a mother and the three children must make a final visit to their beloved cabin in the woods and come to a crucial decision.

Whelan’s quirky, relatable characters and quietly powerful narrative show that we all have to live together, whether we do it with enthusiasm or joy, reluctance or despair.

About the Author

Gloria Whelan, ’45, MSW’48, is the best-selling author of many novels for young readers, including “Homeless Bird,” winner of the National Book Award. Gloria’s short stories have appeared in a number of literary quarterlies, including “The Gettysburg Review,” “The Ontario Review,” and “The Missouri Review,” and in anthologies and “Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards.” She lives with her husband, Joseph, in the woods of northern Michigan.

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