In these five stories, Ernest Gaines returns to the cane fields, sharecroppers' shacks, and decaying plantation houses of Louisiana, the terrain of his great novels A Gathering of Old Men and A Lesson Before Dying. As rendered by Gaines, this country becomes as familiar, and as haunted by cruelty, suffering, and courage, as Ralph Ellison's Harlem or Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County.
Gaines introduces us to this world through the eyes of guileless children and wizened jailbirds, black tenants and white planters. He shows his characters eking out a living and making love, breaking apart aand coming together. And on every page he captures the soul of black community whose circumstances make even the slightest assertion of self-respect an act of majesticand sometimes suicidalheroism. Bloodline is a miracle of storytelling.
A Long Day in November
The Sky Is Gray
Just Like a Tree
Ernest Gaines was born on a plantation in Pointe Coupée Parish near New Roads, Louisiana, which is the Bayonne of all his fictional works. He is writer-in-residence emeritus at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In 1993 Gaines received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for his lifetime achievements. In 1996 he was named a Chevalier de lOrdre des Arts et des Lettres, one of Frances highest decorations. He and his wife, Dianne, live in Oscar, Louisiana.
"Mr. Gaines writes with notable control, a superb ear for speech. . . . Brilliantly subtle and complex." The New York Times Book Review
"[Gaines] unerrringly evokes the time and place about which he writes." Los Angeles Times
"Gaines knows how to tell a story[He writes] with humor, a strong sense of drama and a compassioinate understanding of people who find themselves in opposing positions." Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post