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A lesson before dying
Ernest J. Gaines
Adult Fiction GAINES

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From Publishers' Weekly:

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. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

What do you tell an innocent youth who was at the wrong place at the wrong time and now faces death in the electric chair? What do you say to restore his self-esteem when his lawyer has publicly described him as a dumb animal? What do you tell a youth humiliated by a lifetime of racism so that he can face death with dignity? The task belongs to Grant Wiggins, the teacher of the Negro plantation school who narrates the story. Grant grew up on the Louisiana plantation but broke away to go to the university. He returns to help his people but struggles over ``whether I should act like the teacher that I was, or like the nigger that I was supposed to be.'' The powerful message Grant tells the youth transforms him from a ``hog'' to a hero, and the reader is not likely to forget it, either. Gaines's earlier works include A Gathering of Old Men ( LJ 9/83) and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (Bantam, 1982). BOMC and Quality Paperback Book Club alternate selections; previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/92.-- Joanne Snapp, Randolph-Macon Coll . , Ashland, Va. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Jefferson
Age: Young adult
African American
Condemned to die; wrongfully convicted.

Grant Wiggins
African American
Plantation school teacher.

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