Writers Hall of Fame to Induct Eight

  • May 21st, 2018
Top, from left, Charles Gaines, James Haskins, William Bradford Huie, and Winston Groom. Bottom, from left, Wayne Greenhaw, Gay Talese, Shirley Ann Grau and Joseph Glover Baldwin.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Eight distinguished authors will be inducted into the 2018 Alabama Writers Hall of Fame at The University of Alabama’s Bryant Conference Center May 24.

This year’s inductees include Winston Groom, Gay Talese, Charles Gaines, Shirley Ann Grau, William Bradford Huie, Wayne Greenhaw, James Haskins and Joseph Glover Baldwin.

A reception will be held in their honor at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. The induction ceremony will immediately follow dinner.

Groom is a UA graduate and grew up in Mobile County. He is best known for his book “Forrest Gump,” which was adapted into a film winning six Academy Awards. He has written short stories, novels and numerous non-fiction works on diverse subjects including the American Civil War and World War I.

Talese is a UA graduate and a native of Ocean City, New Jersey. He is the best-selling author of 15 books and is well known for his magazine profiles, including “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold” published in Esquire.

Gaines was born in Jacksonville, Florida, and at the age of 10 moved with his family to Birmingham. He received his undergraduate degree from Birmingham-Southern College. His first novel, “Stay Hungry,” was published in 1972 and focused on the subculture of bodybuilding during the early 1970s. The book was made into a motion picture in 1976 starring Jeff Bridges, Sally Field and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Grau was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and lived much of her childhood in and around Montgomery and Selma. Her book, “The Keepers of the House,” was awarded the 1965 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

Much of her writing centers on stories about women and is often set in the Deep South. Her works include “The Black Prince,” nominated for the National Book Award in 1956, “Evidence of Love,” “Nine Women” and “Selected Stories” published in 2006.

Authors being posthumously inducted are Huie, Greenhaw, Haskins and Baldwin.

Huie, a native of Hartselle, attended UA, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1930. Huie’s books, both fiction and non-fiction, centered around topics related to World War II and the Civil Rights Movement.

His works include “The Americanization of Emily,” adapted into a film in 1964 with the same name, “The Execution of Private Slovick,” adapted as a television movie in 1974, and “He Slew the Dreamer,” written in 1970 about the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Greenhaw, born in Sheffield, moved to Tuscaloosa as a young boy and later enrolled at UA. He is the author of 22 books and was a journalist for The New York Times. A book he’s well known for is “Fighting the Devil in Dixie: How Civil Rights Activists Took on the Ku Klux Klan in Alabama.”

Haskins, a native of Demopolis, received degrees from Georgetown University, Alabama State University and the University of New Mexico. He wrote more than 100 books for children and adults, many highlighting the accomplishments of African-Americans. His 1977 picture book, “The Cotton Club,” was used as inspiration for the 1984 movie.

Baldwin, a native of Virginia, moved to Alabama in 1836. He practiced law with his brother before being elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 1843. While practicing law, he wrote two books of humorous stories, “The Flush Times of Alabama and Mississippi: A Series of Sketches,” published in 1853, and “Party Leaders,” published in 1854.

Groom, Talese and Greenhaw have also been honored with the Harper Lee Award for the Distinguished Alabama Writer of the year.

The Alabama Writers Hall of Fame was founded in 2015 through a partnership between The Alabama Center for the Book, University Libraries and the Alabama Writers’ Forum.

Individual tickets and sponsor tables are on sale and can be purchased by contacting Emily Burnett at emburnett@ua.edu or 205-348-5543.



Donna Adcock, University Libraries, dbadcock@ua.edu, 205-348-8833


Jamon Smith, media relations, jamon.smith@ua.edu, 205-348-4956

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.