NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER • A deep and compassionate novel about a young man who returns to 1940s Cajun country to visit a black youth on death row for a crime he didn't commit. Together they come to understand the heroism of resisting.
A “majestic, moving novel ... an instant classic, a book that will be read, discussed and taught beyond the rest of our lives" (Chicago Tribune), from the critically acclaimed author of A Gathering of Old Men and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.
About the Author
Ernest Gaines was born on a plantation in Pointe Coupée Parish near New Roads, Louisiana, which is the Bayonne of all his fictional works. He is writer-in-residence emeritus at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In 1993 Gaines received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for his lifetime achievements. In 1996 he was named a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, one of France’s highest decorations. He and his wife, Dianne, live in Oscar, Louisiana.
"This majestic, moving novel is an instant classic, a book that will be read, discussed and taught beyond the rest of our lives." —Chicago Tribune
"A Lesson Before Dying reconfirms Ernest J. Gaines's position as an important American writer." — Boston Globe
"Enormously moving. . . . Gaines unerringly evokes the place and time about which he writes." —Los Angeles Times
“A quietly moving novel [that] takes us back to a place we've been before to impart a lesson for living.” —San Francisco Chronicle