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A Lesson Before Dying (Paperback)

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A Lesson Before Dying Gaines, Ernest J. 1 of 1
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Learn more about A Lesson Before Dying:

Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 0375702709
ISBN-13: 9780375702709
Sku: 30052378
Publish Date: 10/1/1997
Dimensions:  (in Inches) 8.25H x 5.25L x 0.75T
Pages:  272
Grant Wiggins, a college-educated man who returns to his hometown to teach, forms an unlikely bond with Jefferson, a young Black man convicted of murder and sentenced to death, when he is asked to impart his learning and pride to the condemned man *Author: Gaines, Ernest J. *Publication Date: 1997/10/01 *Number of Pages: 256 *Binding Type: Paperback *Language: English *Depth: 0.75 *Width: 5.25 *Height: 8.25
From the Publisher:
Set in a small Cajun community in the late 1940s, "A Lesson Before Dying" is an "enormously moving" ("Los Angeles Times") novel of one man condemned to die for a crime he did not commit and a young man who visits him in his cell. In the end, the two men forge a bond as they both come to understand the simple heroism of resisting--and defying--the expected. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction.
In this story of injustice and redemption set in rural Louisiana during the late 1940s, Grant Wiggins, a backwoods schoolmaster, is asked visit a young black prisoner on death row. Jefferson, the prisoner, was falsely accused and convicted of murder and is sentenced to hang, and Wiggins's job, once he realizes the impossibility of overturning the verdict, is to prepare the boy for death. Although, as a nonbeliever, Wiggins at first finds himself in competition with the minister for the boy's attention, he eventually comes to see that the cultivation of any instinct of love--human or religious--is the essence of salvation, both for Jefferson and himself. Ernest J. Gaines's morally wrenching novel has become a classic of American literature.
Author Bio
Ernest Gaines
The oldest of 12 children, Ernest J. Gaines was born on a plantation where his parents worked in the fields--and where Gaines himself also worked from the age of nine, chopping cane for 50 cents a day. He was largely raised by his beloved disabled aunt, but at 15 he joined his mother and stepfather in California. An avid reader, he began to write, and produced a draft of his first novel when he was 16. He received a B.A. from San Francisco State in 1957, and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in creative writing at Stanford. By the time he published his third novel, THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MISS JANE PITTMAN (1971), he had developed a critical reputation, and when the novel was filmed for TV in 1974, he attracted a wide following. His 1993 novel, A LESSON BEFORE DYING, attracted wide critical and popular acclaim. Gaines writes, in all his books, about black men and women who attempt to lead their lives with dignity in a society poisoned by racism.


Newsday (Long Island, N.Y.)
"Like Joyce in his early stories, Gaines is writing here about moments of illumination and about what it means to be human...a strongly felt and--in the best sense--ambiguous novel." - Francine Prose

"This is a painful story told with spare eloquence, and the resonance it creates long after one's reading gives it a classic dimension." - William Styron 10/25/1999

Product Attributes

Product attributeeBooks:   Kobo
Product attributeBook Format:   Paperback
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0272
Product attributePublisher:   Vintage Books USA
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