Gloria Whelan


2014 Independent Publishers Book Award Silver Medal


Wayne State University Press

“Gloria Whelan is a writer of precision, grace, intelligence, and wit. Her stories, many set in Michigan, are a pleasure to read, in particular the elegantly composed novella ‘Living Together’ with its examination of loss and unexpected happiness.”
—Joyce Carol Oates

“Living Together rings imaginative changes on its title, showing voluntary and unwelcome couplings, the alliances and animosities that define us all. Whelan’s pitch-perfect ear and noticing eye here stand her in excellent stead; these variations on the theme of love and need are a true pleasure to read.”
—Nicholas Delbanco

“This volume showcases Whelan’s considerable insight into human nature and her ability to bring the human condition to vivid life. She presents powerful stories about the comforts and discomforts of living together. Her complex, endearingly flawed characters discover their own depths through intimacy with those who are culturally different, or who seem so at first glance. Tightly crafted plots map out the surprising twists and turns of human self-discovery, and keep the reader on her toes. Whelan’s restrained, often lyrical prose lends substantial pleasure to the taut narratives. These stories will leave the reader pondering how living together changes us and makes us aware of our own hidden depths.”
—Theresa Tinkle


University of Illinois Press

This is a wonderful book of stories. Gloria Whelan is adept in creating the small luminous details that bring a story to life. She is miraculously fair to all her characters, young and old, and her accounts are both funny and frightening. She is an urbane and generous writer, and her stories are concentrated with feeling and intelligence.
Charles Baxter

“Playing with Shadows” has a pleasing worldliness; it takes in young and old, rich and poor, servants and masters, husbands and wives. And Whelan’s chief gift as a writer, her power of empathy, is a great strength."
Chicago Tribune

Gloria Whelan's short stories and poems have appeared in literary quarterlies and anthologies including the Virginia Quarterly, the Gettysburg Review, the Ontario Review, the Michigan Quarterly, Country Life and Prize Stories: O. Henry Awards. Her short story, "What World is This?" was the winner of the 2013 Tuscany Prize for Short Stories. Her young adult novel, Homeless Bird received a National Book Award.