A Gathering of Old Men

Front Cover
Vintage Books, 1983 - Fiction - 213 pages
30 Reviews
Set on a Louisiana sugarcane plantation in the 1970s, A Gathering of Old Men is a powerful depiction of racial tensions arising over the death of a Cajun farmer at the hands of a black man.

"Poignant, powerful, earthy...a novel of Southern racial confrontation in which a group of elderly black men band together against whites who seek vengeance for the murder of one of their own."--Booklist

"A fine novel...there is a denouement that will shock and move readers as much as it does the characters."--Philadelphia Inquirer
  

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Review: A Gathering of Old Men

User Review  - Lona Brunton - Goodreads

A Gathering of Old Men is a quick, yet thoughtful and provoking read. It is set in Louisiana in the 1970's, and reminds the reader that America still has a long way to go in terms of race relations ... Read full review

Review: A Gathering of Old Men

User Review  - Pam - Goodreads

This eloquent little book tells the story of one day in the life of a group of elderly black men in rural Louisiana in the 70's. In changing tides, all the characters have to look back on their lives ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
10
Section 3
14
Section 4
27
Section 5
34
Section 6
41
Section 7
50
Section 8
58
Section 11
123
Section 12
168
Section 13
184
Section 14
194
Section 15
200
Section 16
202
Section 17
207
Section 18
211

Section 9
83
Section 10
111

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About the author (1983)

Ernest James Gaines was born on January 15, 1933, on the River Lake Plantation, Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. His 1993 novel, A Lesson Before Dying, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. Gaines has been a MacArthur Foundation fellow, awarded the National Humanities Medal, and inducted into the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) as a Chevalier. Although he was educated in California (at San Francisco State College and Stanford University), his fiction is dominated by images and characters drawn from rural Louisiana, where he was born and raised. Unquestionably the most recognizable, 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. In 1993 Gaines also won the Dos Passos Prize and in 2000 he won the National Humanities Medal. 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.

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