A Lesson Before Dying

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Vintage Books, Jan 1, 1997 - Fiction - 256 pages
33 Reviews
From the author of, A Gathering of Old Men and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman comes a deep and compassionate novel. Grant Wiggins, a college-educated man returns to 1940s Cajun, he visits and forms an unlikely bond with Jefferson, a young Black man convicted of murder and sentenced to death, for a crime he didn't commit. Together they come to understand the heroism of resisting. Best Books for Young Teen Readers. In the 1940s in rural Louisiana, an uneducated African American man is sentenced to die for a crime he was incapable of committing.

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Review: A Lesson Before Dying

User Review  - Paige - Goodreads

Through the eyes of a dissatisfied teacher begrudgingly enlisted to cultivate pride in a youth sentenced to death for a murder he did not commit, Ernest Gaines tells a powerful story of black ... Read full review

Review: A Lesson Before Dying

User Review  - Christine - Goodreads

This is a very sad and moving book. Ostensibly, it is about racism and an unfair justice system in 1940's Louisiana, but really it is about many complicated issues; history, self esteem, spirituality ... Read full review

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Contents

Section 1
10
Section 2
16
Section 3
24
Copyright

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About the author (1997)

Ernest Gaines was born in 1933 on the River Lake Plantation, Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. Although he was educated in California (at San Francisco State College and Stanford University) and currently lives in San Francisco, his fiction is dominated by images and characters drawn from rural Louisiana, where he was born and raised. In recounting the struggle of African Americans to, in his words, "escape the influence of the past" and "just? be men," Gaines has skillfully crafted a small, but powerful body of modern American fiction. Unquestionably the best-known and probably the best, of Gaines's novels is The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1971), a fictional account of the long life of a black woman born a slave on a Louisiana plantation. Through the stories of the many fascinating people who touch Jane's life, Gaines presents not only a moving perspective on the struggles of African Americans but also a social history of the United States since the Civil War. It is a testimony to Gaines's skill as a writer and storyteller that many people believe Jane Pittman was a real person. Indeed, the novel is frequently misshelved in the biography section of bookstores. Of Gaines's other works, Bloodline (1976), a collection of five short stories, stands out for its powerful portrayals of young men in search of self-respect and dignity. His lnovel A Lesson Before Dying, won the 1993 National Book Critics Circle Award.

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