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A Lesson Before Dying

Gaines, Ernest J. (Book - 1994)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
A Lesson Before Dying
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From the author of, A Gathering of Old Men and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman comes a deep and compassionate novel. Grant Wiggins, a college-educated man returns to 1940s Cajun, he visits and forms an unlikely bond with Jefferson, a young Black man convicted of murder and sentenced to death, for a crime he didn't commit. Together they come to understand the heroism of resisting. Best Books for Young Teen Readers. In the 1940s in rural Louisiana, an uneducated African American man is sentenced to die for a crime he was incapable of committing.
Authors: Gaines, Ernest J., 1933-
Title: A lesson before dying
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 1994
Edition: 1st Vintage contemporaries ed
Characteristics: 256 p. ;,21 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Ernest J. Gaines
Summary: From the author of, A Gathering of Old Men and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman comes a deep and compassionate novel. Grant Wiggins, a college-educated man returns to 1940s Cajun, he visits and forms an unlikely bond with Jefferson, a young Black man convicted of murder and sentenced to death, for a crime he didn't commit. Together they come to understand the heroism of resisting. Best Books for Young Teen Readers. In the 1940s in rural Louisiana, an uneducated African American man is sentenced to die for a crime he was incapable of committing.
ISBN: 0375702709
9780375702709
0785769811
9780785769811
0679741666
9780679741664
Branch Call Number: FICTION GAINES 1994
Subject Headings: Friendship Fiction Louisiana Fiction Race relations Fiction Death row inmates Fiction African American men Fiction
Topical Term: Friendship
Race relations
Death row inmates
African American men
LCCN: 93042201
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From the author of, A Gathering of Old Men and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman comes a deep and compassionate novel. Grant Wiggins, a college-educated man returns to 1940s Cajun, he visits and forms an unlikely bond with Jefferson, a young Black man convicted of murder and sentenced to dea... Read More »

2003 Everybody Reads

When Jefferson's attorney states, "I would just as soon put a hog in the electric chair as this," disillusioned teacher Grant Wiggins is sent into the penitentiary to help Jefferson gain a sense of dignity and self-esteem before his execution.


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Feb 09, 2013
  • 51anne rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I enjoyed the story and the writing style of Mr. Gaines. He was able to make the reader feel the anger and frustration of an educated black man living in America during the 1940's.

A Lesson Before Dying tells the story of a schoolteacher who is asked to visit a man wrongly accused and sentence to death simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It reveals the strength of character and community, as well as showing what it takes to resist oppression while maintaining your pride.

Oct 01, 2011
  • vcc rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Gaines' novel is a rich portrayal of racial segregation in the late 1940s United States (Louisiana). He sets the scene early by talking of churches and schools being separated by colour, and how this disparity between the groups leads to a (an innocent?) black man being sent to die by electrocution for killing a white man. Gaines has choosen an interesting metaphor for racism by using the characters of a black school teacher (education) and an uneducated man whose fate is to be decided by others (ie. whites). Note: there is not much talk about the actual execution, for those of you who are squeamish. (Oct 2007)

Nov 04, 2007
  • Cabby rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Oprah's book club.

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Jul 24, 2014
  • Ferociousdog rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Ferociousdog thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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Jul 24, 2014
  • Ferociousdog rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

"Called him a hog" by Grant's aunt

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