Ernest J. Gaines

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A Lesson Before Dying: A Novel

National Book Critics Circle for Fiction 1993

by Ernest J. Gaines

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,...


Of Love and Dust

by Ernest J. Gaines

This is the story of Marcus: bonded out of jail where he has been awaiting trial for murder, he is sent to the Hebert plantation to work in the fields. There he encounters conflict with the overseer, Sidney...


Mozart and Leadbelly

by Ernest J. Gaines

In this collection of stories and essays, the beloved author of the classic, best-selling novel A Lesson Before Dying shares the inspirations behind his books and his reasons for becoming a writer. Told in the...


Catherine Carmier

by Ernest J. Gaines

By the author of A Lesson Before Dying and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Catherine Carmier is a compelling love story set in a deceptively bucolic Louisiana countryside, where blacks, Cajuns, and whites...


A Gathering of Old Men

by Ernest J. Gaines

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,...


Bloodline: Five Stories

by Ernest J. Gaines

In these five stories, Gaines returns to the cane fields, sharecroppers' shacks, and decaying plantation houses of Louisiana, the terrain of his great novels A Gathering of Old Men and A Lesson Before Dying....


In My Father's House

by Ernest J. Gaines

A story of a man brought to reckon with his buried past. Reverend Martin comes face to face with the sins of his youth in the person of Robert X, a young, unkempt stranger who arrives in town for a mysterious...


The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman

by Ernest J. Gaines

"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...