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A Lesson Before Dying (Oprah's Book Club)

A book by Ernest J. Gaines.

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It touched my heart...what a great book!

  • Jan 15, 1998
Rating:
+5
As a voracious reader, I find that many books disappear from my memory pretty quickly. This book really touched me--it made me think...care...feel ...cry. I have passed it on to 5 of my coworkers so far, and it's still going. Every single one of them loved it, and I love getting to talk to them about it after they finish. Mr. Gaines, my thanks for a truly inspiring piece of work.

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More A Lesson Before Dying reviews
review by . July 14, 2010
The older and, one hopes, wiser I grow, the more I admire and respect simplicity. Simplicity is not simple. Simplicity means clean lines, all that is unnecessary pared away. Simplicity means choosing that one golden word where ten would only confuse the issue. And, that one word can be clear and true.     Ernest J. Gaines is a master of simplicity. A Lesson Before Dying is clean and clear writing, descriptions that say just enough to evoke an entire scene with all senses engaged, …
review by . February 06, 2009
There's a quote from a review by the Independent on the cover of my copy of "A Lesson Before Dying," and it says "Like the best country songs, straight and true." Since I saw and read that quote every time I picked up the book, I inevitably started to evaluate it's merit based on whether or not I agreed with that review. Was it straight and true? Then I realized, more importantly, does that even matter?      "A Lesson Before Dying" is a good book. It's not a great book, or an …
review by . September 20, 2007
A Lesson Before Dying is the best known Ernest J. Gaines novel, even having been blessed as an "Oprah's Book Club" choice in September 1997. Today it is read in many middle and high school English classes for the lessons that it has to teach all of us about human dignity and grace. Not all of Oprah Winfrey's book choices over the years have been the wisest, but she got this one right.    The novel is set in a section of 1940s Louisiana that Gaines knows and works so well in his …
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Sheri ()
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I have been a customer reviewer on Amazon.com for well over a decade and an Amazon Vine reviewer since the program began. I enjoy writing product reviews that will help customers make a buying decision. … more
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About this book

Wiki

Oprah Book Club® Selection, September 1997: In a small Cajun community in 1940s Louisiana, a young black man is about to go to the electric chair for murder. A white shopkeeper had died during a robbery gone bad; though the young man on trial had not been armed and had not pulled the trigger, in that time and place, there could be no doubt of the verdict or the penalty.

"I was not there, yet I was there. No, I did not go to the trial, I did not hear the verdict, because I knew all the time what it would be..." So begins Grant Wiggins, the narrator of Ernest J. Gaines's powerful exploration of race, injustice, and resistance, A Lesson Before Dying. If young Jefferson, the accused, is confined by the law to an iron-barred cell, Grant Wiggins is no less a prisoner of social convention. University educated, Grant has returned to the tiny plantation town of his youth, where the only job available to him is teaching in the small plantation church school. More than 75 years after the close of the Civil War, antebellum attitudes still prevail: African Americans go to the kitchen door when visiting whites and the two races are rigidly separated by custom and by law. Grant, trapped in a career he doesn't enjoy, eaten up by resentment at his station in life, and angered by the injustice he sees all around him, dreams of taking his girlfriend Vivian and leaving Louisiana forever. But when Jefferson is convicted and sentenced to die, his grandmother, Miss Emma, begs...

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Details

ISBN-10: 0375702709
ISBN-13: 978-0375702709
Author: Ernest J. Gaines
Publisher: Vintage

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