“This majestic, moving novel is an instant classic, a book that will be read, discussed and taught beyond the rest of our lives.”—Chicago Tribune
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, A Lesson Before Dying is a deep and compassionate novel about a young man who returns to 1940s Cajun country to visit a black youth on death row for a crime he didn't commit. Together they come to understand the heroism of resisting.
From the critically acclaimed author of A Gathering of Old Men and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Ernest J. Gaines’ powerful novel is set in the Jim Crow South, but it captures truths about the experiences of Black Americans that still echo today. In 1940s Louisiana, a young man named Jefferson is sentenced to die for a murder he didn’t commit—and even his public defender views him as less than human. The only justice Jefferson is granted is a prison education, a job that falls to the town’s lone formally educated Black man, Grant Wiggins. Gaines tells a complex story that deals with barbaric manifestations of racism, the transformative power of learning, and Grant’s struggle to reconcile his faith with the misery and abuse that seem to poison his town’s very soil. Through its characters’ journeys and struggles, A Lesson Before Dying asks us all to contemplate important questions about dignity, religion, and what it means to have a true sense of home.
Gaines's NBCC Award-winning novel tells of the relationship forged between a young black man on death row and his teacher in 1940s Louisiana.
Highly recommend! I had to read this book for school and I REALLY enjoyed it.
Riveting, eye-opening, powerful
The ending of this book took my breath away. I recommend it to anyone who wants to have a good, hard look at how race has played (still plays) a role in the U.S. justice & educational systems.
I read this book for a Summer Reading assignment. Let me just tell u. This book is worth it.