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A Lesson Before Dying
A Lesson Before Dying: A Novel | Ernest J. Gaines
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 arekilled; 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 resistingand defyingthe expected.Ernest J. Gaines brings to this novel the same rich sense of place, the same deep understanding of the human psyche, and thesame compassion for a people and their struggle that have informed his previous, highly praised works of fiction.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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SaniyyahK
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Pickpick

This book is amazing. It‘s one of those books where not much is happening in the plot but the characters are enough to keep you engaged. The writing is captivating and you find yourself finishing chapter after chapter. After I finished I definitely thought about my purpose in society and what I am contributing to my community.

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SW-T
Lesson Before Dying | Ernest J Gaines
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R.I.P. 😢😢😢

Loved his books. He‘ll be missed.

#ErnestGaines

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Lesliereads
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“I try to create characters with character in order to improve my own character and maybe the character of the person who reads me.” - Ernest Gaines (1933-2019)🖤📚Rest in Manly, Southern, Literary Power and Esteem. #ernestgaines #americanwriters #southernwriters #blackwriters

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Leftcoastzen
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TheBookHippie 😭 1mo
jillrhudy I just put some of his books out on the “Trending“ shelf here at the library--working late tonight! 1mo
Leftcoastzen @jillrhudy That‘s great. I need to read more of his books,I enjoyed the ones I have read. 1mo
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TobeyTheScavengerMonk He was my Convocation speaker my freshman year of college. A great writer. He will be missed. 1mo
RealBooks4ever Oh no... 😢 1mo
Jas16 Oh that is so sad. 1mo
Lcsmcat 😢 1mo
41 likes7 comments
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nosferatu
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Pickpick

Teaching option 1

BarbaraBB I loved this one 💔 4mo
3 likes1 comment
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kspenmoll
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#LetsTravelAugust #prison
Tagged book is among the suggested books for incoming freshmen‘s summer reading requirement st the HS where I teach.It never ages. The book is fiction, but it is based on the true story of a young black man, Willie Francis of Louisiana. He was sentenced to death in the electric chair.

megnews Everything by Ernest Gaines is worth reading. 4mo
Suet624 It was also a banned book. 🤦🏻‍♀️ 4mo
Suet624 I‘m really glad it‘s required reading now. 4mo
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OriginalCyn620 👌🏻📚👮🏻‍♂️ 4mo
BarbaraBB I loved this one. 4mo
kspenmoll @Suet624 Sone students choose it because it has less pages than others, but they always end up engaged & generate great discussions. 4mo
Nevermore88 I have this book. I have yet to read it. 4mo
59 likes7 comments
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Billypar
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Pickpick

Jefferson grew up as a fairly typical #smalltownboy in the black community of Bayonne, Louisiana in the 30s and 40s: poor, little education, & hard labor on the farm. At 21, he is wrongly convicted of murder, and his godmother recruits her friend's teacher-nephew to teach him how to be a man before he faces death after a lifetime of injustice. What ensues is powerful and multi-layered: I think I'm still unpacking a lot of its implications.

JennyM That sounds a heavy but important read 6mo
BarbaraBB I loved this tragic book. 6mo
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Billypar @JennyM @BarbaraBB Yes- heavy, important, and tragic are all great descriptions- this is one that will stick with me. 6mo
Cinfhen Sounds like a really powerful read. When was it written?? 6mo
gradcat Such a fantastic book—and author. ♥️ 6mo
Billypar @Cinfhen 1993. It has a timeless feel to it though, like it could have been written in any decade. 6mo
Billypar @gradcat I've heard a lot of praise for this novel, but not much about Gaines himself- I'll have to check out his other work. 6mo
gradcat @Billypar In my opinion, Haines has never written a bad book. But I tend to give Louisiana authors a lot of yardage, because I was born & raised here, and I know the kind of weird hold and, if I‘m honest, magic this state has on its denizens, and particularly on its writers. I love/hate this place, and I lived in loads of other, probably better places, and yet I always return. It‘s like a boomerang, this state.... 6mo
Cinfhen Interesting comments @gradcat certain places have their magnetic fields ~ you can‘t fight it 6mo
Billypar @gradcat I love it when books have the setting play an prominent role where you can tell it left a stamp on the author from living there. Absolutely agree @Cinfhen ! 6mo
gradcat @Cinfhen Agree 100 percent...it‘s not something one can explain, either. @Billypar I like most of the writers from my state...sometimes I think there‘s an otherworldliness about Louisiana geography, so the setting lends itself to the Southern gothic novel. 6mo
Suet624 I read this several years ago when my librarian had it on the Banned Books bookshelf. I had no idea this had been banned. A great novel. 5mo
Billypar @Suet624 Ugh- how terrible. This would be a great addition to a high school or college curriculum. 5mo
49 likes2 stack adds14 comments
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EadieB
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Day 24 - #lessons #springintoreading

I own this book but have not read it yet.

From the author of A Gathering of Old Men and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman comes a deep and compassionate novel, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. A young man who returns to 1940s Cajun country to teach visits a black youth on death row for a crime he didn't commit. Together they come to understand the heroism of resisting.

KathyWheeler I loved this book. 8mo
EadieB @KathyWheeler I need to read it! 8mo
OrangeMooseReads This is a good one. I had to read it for a class several years ago. 8mo
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Billypar On my shelf too- looking forward to it from all the good things I've heard. 8mo
Mariposa_Bookworm I read it years ago. I remember it having a profound effect. It raised a lot of questions too about manhood, dignity and remorse. 8mo
SW-T I read it a few years ago and really liked it. 8mo
61 likes3 stack adds6 comments
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FeastOfFiction
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Mehso-so

2019 Book 13: Although the ending was gripping and difficult to read, I am just giving this book a so-so. The first 200 pages weren‘t able to hold my attention like some other books I‘ve read. I also didn‘t really like the main character until the end of the book. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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FeastOfFiction
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Adult book club pick for March. Spring break reading!

54 likes1 stack add
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megnews
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#CellBlockTango #MusicalNewYear

I read A Lesson Before Dying over 20 years ago and loved it so much I quickly read almost everything else by Ernest Gaines. I hate to admit I don‘t remember much other than the man on death row. It was so good I purchased a copy at a library book sale recently to re-read even though I don‘t usually re-read things.

Cinfhen I‘ve also meant to read this! Thanks for the reminder 😊 10mo
23 likes1 comment
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Texreader
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Whew! I haven‘t read this one yet but based on #momreviews and Litsy reviews, I‘d better be ready for this one. @Momreviews

GingerAntics Well, it sounds like Mom says to read it, so I‘ll read it. 11mo
Texreader @GingerAntics I know, pretty strong recommendation. Imagine me going through all these books and her notes today and seeing that one? Whoa! Put on the brakes and read it! But I‘ve got to be ready for it... 11mo
GingerAntics Yeah, it does seem to be the type of tale you‘d need to mentally prepare for. 11mo
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9999 I am loving the notes from your mom! How amazing is that! 11mo
KathyWheeler It‘s a wonderful, sad, soul crushing book. 11mo
CoffeeNBooks This is a really good, but very sad book. I read it several years ago and have a copy of it in my classroom library. 11mo
108 likes8 stack adds6 comments
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EchoLogical
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Pickpick

I thought about using a less abrasive quote but decided this was most fitting for such a moving book. I didn't like it because it really wasn't "enjoyable" material but it stuck with me.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

#blackandbookedchallenge

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hwestfall
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Pickpick

I finished this book up while I was at the KOA laundromat. This was my first Ernest Gaines book and I loved it. I will be looking for more by him.

Tamra Their laundromats often have a book exchange shelf. 😁 I don‘t usually find anything I like, but I‘ve left a few. 1y
12 likes1 comment
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Reviewsbylola
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#bookmail for the third day in a row!! 🙌🏻🙌🏻 I got my second BOTM box as well as the two books I won from the wonderful @BarbaraBB Thank you! ❤️❤️

emilyhaldi Awesome!! I might need to borrow this for #popsugar18 challenge 2y
BarbaraBB Yay! They arrived! Let me know what you think when you get to them. They are really good - I think. 😘 2y
cathysaid I really enjoyed A Lesson Before Dying 👍 2y
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Nat_Reads Grief and Lesson ❤️❤️❤️ 2y
MoniqueReads305 A Lesson Before Dying left me in tears. Great book, I have it in my bookcase for a reread one day. 2y
Cinfhen Woohoo🤗🤗🤗 2y
Mdargusch Nice! 2y
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Tamra
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Pickpick

😭😭😭 This one is worthy of a reread. A lot of hard truth on these pages.

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Tamra
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😞 Powerful. (Though this paragraph started out with the failure of black men to protect & save black women, which I find uncomfortably sexist.)

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Tamra
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This book is going to burn me up, and rightfully so. I‘ve been agitated several times already and this is only chapter 7.

KathyWheeler I loved this book. 2y
Tamra @KathyWheeler I know it‘s going to be devastatingly good. 😭 2y
KathyWheeler @Tamra “Devastatingly good” is a perfect description of it. 2y
hwestfall I found this book a few weeks back at the Salvation Army store! I need to finish what I am reading now so I can start it. 2y
Tamra @hwestfall I‘m definitely engaged - I predict it will be worth bumping up on your TBR. 2y
50 likes1 stack add5 comments
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Nute
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Pickpick

I guess that I put that review in as a blurb thus I didn't give this book a "pick" rating. Sorry guys... it was early in the morning.
Do stack.
Do read.
It's worth the effort and very much recommended.

45 likes2 stack adds
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Nute
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I remember reading this book as if it were yesterday.
How long will I think about this book? How long before I forget this story? Always and never. Because the lesson was not for the dying, for the losing of life, for the soon to be executed. The lesson was/is for the living, for the chosing of life, for anyone heroic enough to be more than what is expected. I hope to remember that.
Highly recommended!

Lesliereads I love Ernest Gaines and have a stack of his books that I'm looking forward to immersing myself in at some point😍 2y
Nute @Lesliereads It doesn't feel like he gets as much recognition as he deserves. His words reach deep into your soul and they linger there as a life lesson. Enjoy your immersion experience. I'll be doing the same thing.☺️ 2y
DivineDiana This book is so moving! I don‘t give too many of these ratings, but this small book deserved it! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (edited) 2y
Nute @DivineDiana Absolutely! 2y
35 likes4 stack adds4 comments
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uhlise
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"I want you to show them the difference between what they think you are and what you can be."

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BarbaraBB
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Pickpick

What a great, sad novel. An innocent black man gets the death penalty. Another man visite him in death row. They learn a lot from each other. Read while sailing our little boat through the rural regionale north of Amsterdam.

3 likes1 stack add
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Born.A.Reader
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Enjoying a beautiful day, working on this for my book club, while my little enjoys her sunshine. 💕💕

Suet624 I enjoyed this book. I hope you do too. 3y
32 likes1 comment
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Born.A.Reader
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#Thriftbooks #bookmail came today! The tagged book is for the book club I'm in and I couldn't pass up getting a couple more!

BelindaMGordon Outlander is one of my all time favorites. 3y
39 likes1 comment
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SarahF
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Now that Litsy posts for grades are done, I wanted to post on some books I've read through out my years, and post on the books that have made an impact on my life and education. I will never forget reading "A Lesson Before Dying" sophomore year of HS, and what an incredible influence it had on my future reading endeavors. If you have not read this, you must. It's heart wrenching and a true insight to the injustices that went on not so long ago.

DrSpalding This makes me happy to know you WANTED to post not for a grade but to share a powerful story! ❤️📚 It's now on my TBR pile. 3y
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MrsBatt
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"I'm so sorry. And I wished they had somebody else we could turn to. But they ain't no body else."

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Tillie
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#RiotGrams Black History Month "I want you to show them the difference between what they think you are and what you can be."

lynneamch So powerful. 💔 3y
DivineDiana This is a ⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️ star read! 3y
10 likes2 comments
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Suet624
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Read 14 books this month. While I liked several of the #TOB17 books, none of them made my "favorite" list. These four I'll remember for a long time. #januaryreads

Joybishoptx I need fun home. I must buy it soon! 3y
Suet624 @Joybishoptx 👍👍 3y
DivineDiana I read Lesson Before Dying years ago and it has stayed with me. Powerful! 3y
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TobeyTheScavengerMonk A Lesson Before Dying was the book everybody had to read my freshman year in college. Ernest Gaines was our Convocation speaker. 3y
Lmstraubie A Lesson Before Dying was such a powerful book. 3y
Suet624 @BraveNewBooks me too 💕💕💕 3y
61 likes7 comments
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Tillie
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Tillie Ernest Gaines was featured in this months AARP magazine. He is eighty. He moved back to the plantation he grew up on, bought some acreage, built a home, restored the church and saved the cemetery from obscurity. 3y
Suet624 Wow! Thanks for the info @Tillie 3y
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Tillie
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Pickpick

A moving, compassionate look at being human or inhuman as the case may be. "He was the bravest man in the room today..."

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flowerchildbae
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Pickpick

A Lesson Before Dying is a very moving book. It will pull at your heart strings. It will make you angry. It will make you question humanity. This book really pulls all of your emotions out. It is a book I recommend you read.
#slavery

BooksTeasAndBookishThings Welcome to Litsy!!! 😊❤🙌📚🎉 3y
7 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Suet624
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Pickpick

I picked this book up from the library during "Banned Book Month". It was banned from a high school in Georgia in 1999 (for the one paragraph of sexual content) and from a college bookstore at Louisiana College by the college president in 2004 (the love scene clashed with the school's Christian values). It's an important and moving novel. I hope those students who didn't get a chance to read it then will seek the book out now.

Kimzey I owned a copy, but my dog ate it! Still have been meaning to read it. 🐶 3y
SusanInTiburon I remember listening to this on Books on Tape when my daughter was a newborn. 3y
SusanInTiburon That was more than 20 years ago. 😱. I loved it. 3y
Suet624 @SusanInTiburon you're right. It was published in 1993. Which to me feels like 10 years. But whatever. 😀 3y
DivineDiana I found this to be a very powerful book! 3y
71 likes11 stack adds5 comments
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Suet624
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Moving from Men We Reaped into this book. I'm not sure if I'm purposely trying to get depressed, but if I were this would be the perfect recipe. See you on the flip side.

shawnmooney I read this in the mid-1990s and loved it with all my heart! I want to reread it. 💓💓💓💓 3y
Suet624 Oh that's lovely to hear @shawnmooney. 3y
paradise_found92 Loved this book so much! 3y
Nebklvr It is wonderful 3y
52 likes3 stack adds4 comments
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Redy2trvl
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Pickpick

Not my typical pick, but my husband gave it to me last Christmas on a referral from a friend. This book is very much like a big, chewy Cab... deep, heavy and moving. The last 40 pages were brutal. I was truly brought to tears. With all of that said, it is a beautiful literary journey.

11 likes1 stack add
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LuLeeBelle
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Dupré library has always been a safe, comforting place for me. Whenever school or life in general got too overwhelming, it soothed me to visit it. I loved aimlessly strolling in the stacks and finding old books - especially when forgotten student paraphernalia would fall out: tickets, notes, sundry lists of all sorts from students long since gone. I still collect clips and snips of found paper that tells stories.
When in doubt, go to the library

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MatildaBaggins
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Pickpick

This was my last book for my library's Summer Reading Bingo challenge!! I loved it. It's probably not a book I would have picked out on my own, so I'm quite glad I did this challenge 😊

Riveted_Reader_Melissa Excellent! Good for you! 🎉 3y
moranadatter Yay!🎉 3y
UwannaPublishme 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 3y
29 likes4 comments
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FernsAndFairyTales
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Pickpick

Wow, flew through this book in a day! I don't recommend reading the ending in public though. (Dear Starbucks, sorry for my tears.)

librariankris So many tears! 4y
7 likes1 comment
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NovelReveries
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Book Rec! "I want you to show them the difference between what they think you are and what you can be." -Ernest J. Gaines

11 likes2 stack adds