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.
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 simple and powerful prose that is a hallmark of his craft, these writings by Ernest J. Gaines faithfully evoke the sorrows and joys of rustic Southern life. From his depiction of his childhood move to California -- a move that propelled him to find books that conjured the sights, smells, and locution of his native Louisiana home -- to his description of the real-life murder case that gave him the idea for his masterpiece, this wonderful collection is a revelation of both man and writer.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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 "meeting" with the Reverend.
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 Bonbon, and a tale of revenge, lust and power plays out between Marcus, Bonbon, BonBon's mistress Pauline, and BonBon's wife Louise.
Une plantation comme une autre, près de Bayonne, en Louisiane.
Tout le monde se connaît, s'épie, s'aime ou se jalouse. Dans la touffeur de l'après-midi, la belle Catherine Carmier y promène parfois sa silhouette souple, sa peau si claire, sa solitude, sous les yeux de Jackson, un jeune professeur noir de retour sur sa terre natale. Mais Jackson n'est pas le seul qui la regarde, et, tout au long de soirées interminables, un drame se noue, silencieux.
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. As rendered by Gaines, this country becomes as familiar, and as haunted by cruelty, suffering, and courage, as Ralph Ellison's Harlem or Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County.
A Long Day in November The Sky Is Gray Three Men Bloodline Just Like a Tree
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
A Vintage Shorts Short Story Month Selection The fish are nearly jumping in the bayous of Louisiana, but hoodoo magic is just as easy to find. And one day, Bobbys grandfather catches a haint.
With his characteristically rich sense of place and deep understanding of the human psyche, Ernest Gaines, National Book Critics Circle Award winner and author of the classic novel A Lesson Before Dying, presents a raconteurs tale of rustic Southern living, A selection from Gainess collection of prose, Mozart and Leadbelly.
An eBook short.
Ernest J. Gaines's new novella revolves around a courthouse shooting that leads a young reporter to uncover the long story of race and power in his small town and the relationship between the white sheriff and the black man who "whipped children" to keep order.
After Brady Sims pulls out a gun in a courtroom and shoots his own son, who has just been convicted of robbery and murder, he asks only to be allowed two hours before he'll give himself up to the sheriff. When the editor of the local newspaper asks his cub reporter to dig up a "human interest" story about Brady, he heads for the town's barbershop. It is the barbers and the regulars who hang out there who narrate with empathy, sadness, humor, and a profound understanding the life story of Brady Sims--an honorable, just, and unsparing man who with his tough love had been handed the task of keeping the black children of Bayonne, Louisiana in line to protect them from the unjust world in which they lived. And when his own son makes a fateful mistake, it is up to Brady to carry out the necessary reckoning. In the telling, we learn the story of a small southern town, divided by race, and the black community struggling to survive even as many of its inhabitants head off northwards during the Great Migration.