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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.


Ernest James Gaines (born January 15, 1933) is an African-American author whose works have been taught in college classrooms and translated into many languages, including French, Spanish, German, Russian and Chinese. Four of his works have been made into television movies.

His 1993 novel, A Lesson Before Dying, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. Gaines has been a MacArthur Foundation fellow, awarded the National Humanities Medal, and inducted into the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) as a Chevalier.


  • Publisher: ‎Vintage (September 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • Paperback: ‎256 pages
  • ISBN-10:  0375702709
  • ISBN-13: ‎9780375702709
  • Item Weight: ‎7 ounces
  • Dimensions: ‎5.14 x 0.55 x 7.93 inches
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