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This is a great book for anyone who is a fan of Ernest Gaines. There are essays explaining how and why he wrote "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" and "A Lesson Before Dying", some auto biographical information, 5 of his early short stories, including the first one he had published, and an interview with him on his feelings about art and music. Great book for fans of his.
This is the life story of Ernest J. Gaines and inspiration used in his writing. His story starts with his family history and growing up in Louisiana on a plantation in Pointe Coupee Parish, a community which helped shape his characters for stories. He built his current house on land of the same plantation where he was born and spent his early life. He also built a church near the cemetery grounds on the plantation. Little details enriched his lifestory such as chewing cane (sugar cane), cracking...
What a treat! The editors have collected “old and dusty” short stories (including “Mary Louise,” which was later fleshed out into Gaines’s novel Catherine Carmier), along with essays and speech transcriptions in which Gaines talks about his influences and his writing process. There is also a transcription of a conversation between Gaines, Gaudet, and poet Darrell Bourque, both of the latter associated with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where Gaines also teaches. For me, reading this
1.5This didn't really make any sense.A few essays that had similar points.A couple stories, some of which were like the essays.An interview transcript.I could have written this, no idea how it got published.
Gaines is becoming a favorite author for me. This is a collection of essays,stories and an interview.
I liked his short stories. The transcriptions of his speeches were a bit flat because transcriptions of speeches and talks always are.
"While I was a student at Stanford in the late fifties, my writing professor, Wallace Stegner, asked me, "Who do you write for? Who do you want to spread your book?" "I do not write for any particular groups, Mr. Stegner," I said, "I have learned too much from other writers, American and European, writers who definitely were not writing for me or about me." "Maybe not for you Ernie, but many had a particular reader in mind. Now let's say a gun was put to your head and that same question was as
Essays really interesting, especially info about his experiences moving to the Bay Area. I lived in the area during the same time period, interesting to see if from his point of view. The essay about the influence of his Aunt was great - a call to all of us to always stand up for what is right. He knew people in the Jonestown cult. Stories of how he came to write his books and short stories was fascinating. The story of meeting a lawyer who defended a young black man up for the death penalty who...
Ms. W: This is a collection of short stories and essays written in strong, spare language that explores the author's life and career choice. I picked this book by title alone, what on earth could it imply? So glad I did, gained a real appreciation for a writer I had only "studied" before (Lesson Before Dying, Jane Pittman...) but now feel a camaraderie with.
One of the best still living writers around--Gaines has an evocative style reminiscent of Faulkner and Hemingway but literally sprung directly from the soil and people of Louisiana. A true writer of blood, grit, and heart.
Not Gaines' best effort, but still better than a lot of stuff out there. I really enjoyed the nonfiction essays the most; the short stories this time did not seem to grab me. I really enjoyed the piece on the backstory on the writing of LESSON.
This books contains fascinating conversations with Ernest Gaines in addition to several of his short stories. The conversations give detail into Gaines's background, his writing inspirations, his philosophies and his stories. It's excellent.
Good but not stellar.