Oxford Stroud was born in Demopolis, Ala., the oldest child of Viola Goode Liddell. The family lived in Albequerque, N.M., for several years. His parents divorced when he was six, however, and Stroud and his mother moved first to Linden, Ala., and then, in 1932, to Camden, Ala., where Stroud grew up. After graduating from high school in 1943, Stroud served in the US Army Air Corps and was stationed in England. After the war in Europe ended, he briefly attended a special serviceman’s course at Oxford University. When Stroud returned to the United States, he spent a year on the West Coast, hitchhiking and working six months for a logging company in Washington State. In 1946, Stroud enrolled in Southwestern University in Memphis, Tenn., to study for the ministry. He soon decided that he was unsuited to become a minister and transferred to Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University). Stroud initially majored in forestry but soon changed to English. He earned a baccalaureate degree in 1949 and a master’s degree in 1953. In 1952, he was employed as a social worker in Wilcox County, Ala.
In 1953, Stroud returned to API to teach English literature and composition. He taught at API/Auburn for thirty years before retiring in 1983. During that time, Stroud authored a textbook for composition students, Writing Prose That Makes a Difference and the Grammar Minimum, published in 1979. He also became known on campus for his kudzu tea recipes. He wrote poems and short stories that appeared in regional and literary magazines. Stroud continued to live in Auburn after his retirement. His first novel, Marbles, based on his short story “Baptism,” was published in 1991. Stroud spent his last years working on two more novels. One of these, a sequel to Marbles, was never published, but the other, To Yield a Dream, was published shortly after his death from melanoma.
Oxford Stroud wrote novels, short stories, and poems, usually with Southern settings and concerns. Marbles is based on his boyhood in Camden.
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Last updated on Nov 07, 2009.