World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Julia Keller

Julia Keller is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American writer.

Her novels include Summer of the Dead (2014), Bitter River (2013) and A Killing in the Hills (2012), a mystery series featuring prosecutor Belfa "Bell" Elkins, a crusader against the illegal prescription drug trade thriving in rural America. The series is set in the fictional town of Acker's Gap, West Virginia, a "shabby afterthought" of a town, according to A Killing in the Hills, which won the Barry Award in 2012 for Best First Mystery Novel.

Keller won the annual Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for her three-part narrative account of the deadly Utica, Illinois tornado outbreak, published by the Chicago Tribune in April 2004. The jury called it a "gripping, meticulously reconstructed account of a deadly 10-second tornado".[1] The Tribune has won many Pulitzers but Keller's prize was its first and remains its only win for feature writing.

Keller was born and raised in West Virginia. She graduated from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, and earned a doctoral degree in English Literature from Ohio State University. Her master's thesis was an analysis of the Henry Roth novel, Call It Sleep. Her doctoral dissertation explored multiple biographies of Virginia Woolf (A poetics of literary biography: The creation of "Virginia Woolf", Ohio State, 1996). She has taught at Princeton University, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Chicago.

Keller was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University 1998–1999. She has served four times as a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes. Her reviews and commentary air on National Public Radio and on The Newshour (PBS).


  • Mr. Gatling's Terrible Marvel: The Gun That Changed Everything and the Misunderstood Genius Who Invented It (Viking, 2008) – details the cultural impact of the Gatling gun
  • Back Home (Egmont, 2009),named by Booklist as one of the top ten YA debut novels of the year
  • A Killing in the Hills (Minotaur, 2012) – the first Bell Elkins mystery; received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus, and Booklist; winner of the Barry Award
  • Bitter River (Minotaur, 2013) – the second Bell Elkins mystery
  • The Devil's Stepdaughter: A Bell Elkins Story E-short story (Minotaur, 2014)
  • Summer of the Dead (Minotaur, 2014)
  • A Haunting of the Bones: A Bell Elkins Novella E-book (Minotaur, 2014)


  1. ^ "The 2005 Pulitzer Prize Winners: Feature Writing". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2013-11-17. With short biography and reprints of three works (Chicago Tribune articles December 5–7, 2004).

External links

  • Official website
  • Biography from Chicago Women in Publishing
  • Writers Talk Interview
  • Julia Keller at Library of Congress Authorities, with 4 catalog records
  • The story behind Bitter River - Online Essay by Julia Keller at

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.