A Lesson Before Dying: A Novel (Google eBook)

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Jan 20, 2004 - Fiction - 260 pages
41 Reviews

A Lesson Before Dying, is set in a small Cajun community in the late 1940s.  Jefferson, a young black man, is an unwitting party to a liquor store shoot out in which three men are killed; the only survivor, he is convicted of murder and sentenced to death.  Grant Wiggins, who left his hometown for the university, has returned to the plantation school to teach.  As he struggles with his decision whether to stay or escape to another state, his aunt and Jefferson's godmother persuade him to visit Jefferson in his cell and impart his learning and his pride to Jefferson before his death.  In the end, the two men forge a bond as they both come to understand the simple heroism of resisting—and defying—the expected.

Ernest J. Gaines brings to this novel the same rich sense of place, the same deep understanding of the human psyche, and the same compassion for a people and their struggle that have unformed his previous, highly praised works of fiction.




From the Trade Paperback edition.
  

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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  - Shaun - Goodreads

This is the second book I've read by Gaines, the first being A Gathering of Old Men, and I'm pleased to say that I found both to be quite good reads. The story, which is told in simple and understated ... Read full review

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Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
10
Section 3
16
Section 4
24
Section 5
33
Section 6
42
Section 7
51
Section 8
59
Section 17
125
Section 18
135
Section 19
143
Section 20
154
Section 21
162
Section 22
171
Section 23
181
Section 24
190

Section 9
67
Section 10
75
Section 11
80
Section 12
86
Section 13
96
Section 14
103
Section 15
110
Section 16
118
Section 25
198
Section 26
207
Section 27
214
Section 28
222
Section 29
229
Section 30
238
Section 31
250
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Ernest J. Gaines was born on a plantation in Pointe Coupee Parish, near New Roads, Louisiana, which is the Bayonne of all his fictional works.  His previous books include A Gathering of Old Men, In My Father's House, A Long Day in November, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Bloodline, Of Love and Dust, and Catherine Carmier. He divides his time between San Francisco and the University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette, where he is writer-in-residence.




From the Trade Paperback edition.

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