Ernest Gaines: "Gaines on Gaines"


Ernest J. Gaines

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Metadata Only




Mills Godwin, Jr. Building - Auditorium

Lecture Series

President's Lecture Series; Annual Literary Festival


Working in the tradition of James Weldon Johnson, Ralph Ellison and Zora Neale Hurston, Ernest Gaines is the author of "A Lesson Before Dying," winner of the 1993 National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction.

From The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman to A Lesson Before Dying and The Tragedy of Brady Sims, Gaines stories addressed the timeless issues of class, poverty, and race which transcend the American South and which transcend America itself. While his fictional world centers on a small rural place in south Louisiana, his address is to universal challenges, to human dignity of all peoples, no matter where they come from. His concerns are always with the capacity to confront oppression with dignity, to confront dissembling with triumph, and to replace the language of injustice with the transformative language of humane dialogue and social justice.

In presenting the National Medal of the Arts, President Barack Obama cited Ernest J Gaines “for his contributions as an author and teacher. Drawing deeply from his childhood in the rural South, his works have shed new light on the African American experience and given voice to those who have endured injustice.”

Media Type



A 1/2" VHS copy of this lecture is available in the Special Collections & University Archives Department of Old Dominion University Perry Library. Call #: LD4331.A57 2000g

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