Discussion:
Ernest Gaines 86, author (Autobio/Jane Pittman; Lesson Bef. Dying; Gathering/Old Men)
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That Derek
2019-11-05 20:53:12 UTC
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https://www.wafb.com/2019/11/05/famed-louisiana-author-ernest-gaines-dies/

News

Famed Louisiana author Ernest Gaines dies


By Graham Ulkins | November 5, 2019 at 1:29 PM CST - Updated November 5 at 2:44 PM

POINTE COUPEE PARISH, La. (WAFB) - Author, Ernest J. Gaines, passed away at the age of 86 on Tuesday, Nov. 5, officials with the Pointe Coupee Parish Coroner’s Office confirmed.

Gaines has written several award-winning novels, including A Lesson Before Dying (1993) and Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1971). His work has received critical acclaim and is routinely included in academic curricula.

Gaines was born in Oscar, Louisiana on Jan. 15, 1933. During his teens, his family moved to California because he couldn’t attend high school or junior high school. He went on to attended San Francisco State College (now San Francisco State University) and then Stanford University for graduate school.

Much of his writing draws from rural Louisiana, however, in an interview conducted with WAFB’s Graham Ulkins, he explains why he maintained such an interest.

“We are on six acres of land and I think they are the most beautiful six acres of land in the world,” he said.
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By Graham Ulkins | November 5, 2019 at 1:29 PM CST - Updated November 5 at 2:44 PM

POINTE COUPEE PARISH, La. (WAFB) - Author, Ernest J. Gaines, passed away at the age of 86 on Tuesday, Nov. 5, officials with the Pointe Coupee Parish Coroner’s Office confirmed.

Gaines has written several award-winning novels, including A Lesson Before Dying (1993) and Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1971). His work has received critical acclaim and is routinely included in academic curricula.

Gaines was born in Oscar, Louisiana on Jan. 15, 1933. During his teens, his family moved to California because he couldn’t attend high school or junior high school. He went on to attended San Francisco State College (now San Francisco State University) and then Stanford University for graduate school.

Much of his writing draws from rural Louisiana, however, in an interview conducted with WAFB’s Graham Ulkins, he explains why he maintained such an interest.

“We are on six acres of land and I think they are the most beautiful six acres of land in the world,” he said.
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Gaines passed away from natural causes at his beautiful home in Pointe Coupee Parish on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
l***@yahoo.com
2019-11-06 21:58:42 UTC
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https://apnews.com/e9fe833a0686427eaa6cf3cc768d264d

First half:

By CHEVEL JOHNSON and REBECCA SANTANA


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Novelist Ernest J. Gaines, whose poor childhood on a small Louisiana plantation germinated stories of black struggles that grew into universal tales of grace and beauty, has died. He was 86.

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation, which sponsors a literary award in Gaines’ honor, confirmed he died Tuesday in his sleep of cardiac arrest at his home in Oscar, Louisiana.

“Ernest Gaines was a Louisiana treasure,” foundation president and CEO John Davies said in a statement. “He will be remembered for his powerful prose that placed the reader directly into the story of the old South, as only he could describe it. We have lost a giant and a friend.”

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a statement that Gaines “used his immense vision and literary talents to tell the stories of African Americans in the South. We are all blessed that Ernest left words and stories that will continue to inspire many generations to come.”

“A Lesson Before Dying,” published in 1993, was an acclaimed classic. Gaines was awarded a “genius grant” that year by the MacArthur Foundation, receiving $335,000.

Both “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” (1971) and “A Gathering of Old Men” (1984) became honored television movies.

The author of eight books, Gaines was born on a plantation in Pointe Coupee Parish. His first writing experience was writing letters for illiterate workers who asked him to embellish their news to far-off relatives. Bayonne, the setting for Gaines’ fiction, was actually New Roads, Louisiana, which Gaines left for California when he was 15.

Although books were denied him throughout his childhood because of Louisiana’s strict segregation, which extended even to libraries, he found the life surrounding him rich enough to recollect in story after story through exact and vivid detail.

In “A Lesson Before Dying,” for example, the central figure is the teacher at the plantation school outside town. Through the teacher, whose profession Gaines elevates to a calling, the novelist explores the consistent themes of his work: sacrifice and duty, the obligation to others, the qualities of loving, the nature of courage.

Gaines found that using his storytelling gifts meant more than militant civil rights action. “When Bull Connor would sic the dogs, I thought, ‘Hell, write a better paragraph.’

“In 1968, when I was writing ‘The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,’ my friends said, ‘Why write about a 110-year-old lady when all of this is going on now?’ And I said, ‘I think she’s going to have something to say about it.’”...

https://www.google.com/search?q=ernest+gaines+86&rlz=1CAACAU_enUS874&oq=ernest+gaines+86&aqs=chrome..69i57.2911j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
(more obits)

https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1CAACAU_enUS874&ei=0D_DXauHEuzs_QaGwZCwAQ&q=ernest+gaines+kirkus&oq=ernest+gaines+kirkus&gs_l=psy-ab.3...95414.96147..96331...0.0..0.105.558.5j1......0....1..gws-wiz.......33i299j33i160.jNaohFj8P0Y&ved=0ahUKEwirr-CjyNblAhVsdt8KHYYgBBYQ4dUDCAs&uact=5
(Kirkus reviews)

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3533.Ernest_J_Gaines
(reader reviews)

https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1CAACAU_enUS874&ei=9UDDXb7XIITn_Qbbw4rADA&q=ernest+gaines+interviews&oq=ernest+gaines+interviews&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0i22i30l2.2000.4034..4229...0.0..0.124.952.9j2......0....1..gws-wiz.......0i131j0i3j0.NUEypzI540g&ved=0ahUKEwj-pcqvydblAhWEc98KHduhAsgQ4dUDCAs&uact=5
(a few interviews)

https://www.google.com/search?q=ernest+gaines&rlz=1CAACAU_enUS874&source=lnms&tbm=vid&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjGmu-RytblAhXDT98KHc7eCBQQ_AUIFSgE&biw=1920&bih=921
(videos)

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/rec.arts.books.childrens/l6jpvds3-lM/m97efHf_MAMJ;context-place=forum/rec.arts.books.childrens
(birthday post from 2013, with booklist)


Excerpts:

I remember reading "The Sky is Gray" for fun in a 7th-grade textbook: "Outlooks Through Literature," published by Scott, Foresman and Company and edited by Edmund James, James L. Pierce, Mabel H. Pittman, Jesse Stuart, and Hilton Farrell. It made a big impression on me. The illustrator was Carl Owens. One picture shows Monsieur Bayonne trying to work a "prayer cure" on James' aching tooth, and another shows James and his mother walking on the sidewalk.


Gaines said:

"When I speak to black students about Hemingway, they often ask me what I expect them to learn from 'that white man.' I tell them: 'All Hemingway wrote about was grace under pressure. And he was talking about you. Can you tell me a better example of grace under pressure than our people for the past three hundred years? Grace under pressure isn't just about bullfighters and men at war. It's about getting up every day to face a job or a white boss you don't like but have to face to feed your children so they'll grow up to be a better generation.' "



Lenona.

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