The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman

Front Cover
Bantam Books, 1972 - Fiction - 246 pages
83 Reviews
"This is a novel in the guise of the  tape-recorded recollections of a black woman who has  lived 110 years, who has been both a slave and a  witness to the black militancy of the 1960's. In this  woman Ernest Gaines has created a legendary figure,  a woman equipped to stand beside William  Faulkner's Dilsey in The Sound And The  Fury." Miss Jane Pittman, like Dilsey, has  'endured,' has seen almost everything and foretold the  rest. Gaines' novel brings to mind other  great works The Odyssey for the way  his heroine's travels manage to summarize the  American history of her race, and Huckleberry  Finn for the clarity of her voice, for  her rare capacity to sort through the mess of years  and things to find the one true story in it all."  -- Geoffrey Wolff, Newsweek.

"Stunning. I know of no  black novel about the South  that excludes quite the same refreshing mix of wit  and wrath, imagination and indignation, misery and  poetry. And I can recall no more memorable female  character in Southern fiction since Lena of  Faulkner's Light In August than Miss  Jane Pittman." -- Josh Greenfeld,  Life

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Classy author writing classic books! - Goodreads
really good book-easy read-hated the ending - Goodreads
The writing is very authentic as an oral history. - Goodreads

Review: The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman

User Review  - Margarita - Goodreads

The same simple, straightforward prose that sucked me in in A Lesson Before Dying. I was right there in Luzana from beginning to end, and I'll remember it like something that happened in my own family. Read full review

Review: The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman

User Review  - Anita Dawson - Goodreads

To hear the stories of a woman of 110 years is amazing. Following her life as she lives through her life in slavery is phenomenal. The fact that she still has her wit about her and is able to recant stories of her youth, just shows the strong will of a strong woman. Read full review

Selected pages


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12
Section 13
Section 14
Section 15

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1972)

Ernest Gaines is a writer-in-residence at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. His 1993 novel, A Lesson Before Dying, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. In 2004, he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Gaines' A Lesson Before Dying was an Oprah Book Club pick in 1997.

Bibliographic information