A Lesson Before Dying: A Novel

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Jan 20, 2004 - Fiction - 272 pages
21 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 informed his previous, highly praised works of fiction.




From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

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I found this book to be slow reading....poor character development. Annoying repetition. Didn't enjoy it! Kindle 12/25/2014

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Contents

I
II
6
III
12
IV
20
V
29
VI
38
VII
47
VIII
55
XVII
121
XVIII
131
XIX
139
XX
150
XXI
158
XXII
167
XXIII
177
XXIV
186

IX
63
X
71
XI
76
XII
82
XIII
92
XIV
99
XV
106
XVI
114
XXV
194
XXVI
203
XXVII
210
XXVIII
218
XXIX
225
XXX
234
XXXI
246
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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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