Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction
A Lesson Before Dying, set in a small Cajun community in the late 1940s, is about the bond forged between two men--Jefferson, convicted of murder and sentenced to die; and Grant Wiggins, a college graduate returning to his hometown to teach. Through their friendship and the wisdom they impart upon one another, they both come to understand the simple heroism of resisting--and defying--the expected. Gaines brings to this novel a rich sense of place and a deep understanding of the human psyche.
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WINNER - YALSA Best Books for Young Adults
WINNER - National Book Critics Circle Awards
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.