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A Lesson Before Dying (Vintage Contemporaries)

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A Lesson Before Dying (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover

ISBN13: 9780375702709
ISBN10: 0375702709
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

 

 

Reading Group Guide

The questions, discussion topics, and author biography that follow are designed to enhance your group's reading of Ernest J. Gaines's A Lesson Before Dying. We hope that they will provide you with multiple ways of looking at--and talking about--a novel whose eloquence, thematic richness, and moral resonance have called forth comparisons to the work of Richard Wright, James Baldwin, and William Faulkner. In a story so simple that it might be a lost parable from the Gospels, Gaines has compressed the entire bitter history of black people in the South--and, by extension, in America as a whole.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

FBB, February 6, 2011 (view all comments by FBB)
This is an easily readable book full of historical references and characters one never forgets.
I taught this title to high school juniors, and although they were often "reluctant" readers, even they found themselves engrossed in the story of the protagonist and the bone-chilling events toward the end of his story.
I am still haunted by many scenes so vividly rendered by Gaines.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
FBB, February 6, 2011 (view all comments by FBB)
This is an easily readable book full of historical references and characters one never forgets.
I taught this title to high school juniors, and although they were often "reluctant" readers, even they found themselves engrossed in the story of the protagonist and the bone-chilling events toward the end of his story.
I am still haunted by many scenes so vividly rendered by Gaines.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
FBB, February 6, 2011 (view all comments by FBB)
This is an easily readable book full of historical references and characters one never forgets.
I taught this title to high school juniors, and although they were often "reluctant" readers, even they found themselves engrossed in the story of the protagonist and the bone-chilling events toward the end of his story.
I am still haunted by many scenes so vividly rendered by Gaines.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 4 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375702709
Author:
Gaines, Ernest J.
Publisher:
Vintage Books USA
Author:
Gaines, Ernest J.
Location:
New York
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Friendship
Subject:
Louisiana
Subject:
Race relations
Subject:
Afro-american men
Subject:
Death row inmates
Subject:
African American men
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage Contemporaries (Paperback)
Series Volume:
no. 71
Publication Date:
19970931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8.02x5.16x.60 in. .44 lbs.

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Related Subjects


Children's » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » African American » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Featured Titles

A Lesson Before Dying (Vintage Contemporaries) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 272 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780375702709 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , US
"Synopsis" by , A Lesson Before Dying, is set in a small Cajun community in the late 1940s.  Jefferson, a young black man, is an unwitting party to a liquor store shoot out in which three men are killed; the only survivor, he is convicted of murder and sentenced to death.  Grant Wiggins, who left his hometown for the university, has returned to the plantation school to teach.  As he struggles with his decision whether to stay or escape to another state, his aunt and Jefferson's godmother persuade him to visit Jefferson in his cell and impart his learning and his pride to Jefferson before his death.  In the end, the two men forge a bond as they both come to understand the simple heroism of resisting—and defying—the expected.

Ernest J. Gaines brings to this novel the same rich sense of place, the same deep understanding of the human psyche, and the same compassion for a people and their struggle that have unformed his previous, highly praised works of fiction.

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