Ernest Gaines has a cousin whose daughter went to high school with me. He came to our school to read from his work. I was about 16 when I met him in my English class. Quite an extraordinary man, I can only describe him as a gentle gentleman. This makes him an incredibly powerful presence.

Writing of his native Louisiana, he is, witthout a doubt, my favorite writer.

A Lesson Before Dying
A Lesson Before Dying

It gave me great pleasure when Oprah chose this for her book club. I was glad to see Mr. Gaines obtain well-desrved popular recognition for his work.

This is the story of a black man condemned to die for a capitol crime and the white man who teaches him to read.

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