National Endowment for the Arts - The Big Read
A Lesson Before Dying

A Lesson Before Dying

by Ernest J. Gaines

In all my stories and novels, no one ever escapes Louisiana.


Resources on Gaines and the Jim Crow South

  • Chafe, William H., Raymond Gavis, and Robert Korstad, eds. Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell About Life in the Segregated South. New York: New Press, 2001.
  • Hughes, Langston. The Big Sea: An Authobiography. 1940. New York: Hill and Wang, 2002.
  • Lowe, John, ed. Conversations with Ernest Gaines. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 1995.
  • Simon, Scott. Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Baseball. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2002.
  • Washington, Booker T. Up from Slavery: An Autobiography. 1901. New York: Random House, 1999.
If you enjoyed A Lesson Before Dying, you might want to read:
  • Frederick Douglass's Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, 1845
  • Richard Wright's Native Son, 1940
  • Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men, 1946
  • Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, 1952
If you want to read books that influenced Ernest J. Gaines, you might want to try:
  • Ivan Turgenev's Fathers and Sons, 1852
  • Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage, 1895
  • Jean Toomer's Cane, 1923
  • William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, 1929

Website

Ernest J. Gaines Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Visitors to this website will find archives of images, a Library Guide, pages for each of Gaines' novels and books, and a blog. The pages for Gaines' works contain background information, questions to consider, possible activities, quotes from Gaines, scholarly articles, and items from the archives.

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