A Gathering of Old Men by Ernest J. Gaines
(Vintage Contemporaries)

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Set on a Louisiana sugarcane plantation in the 1970s, A Gathering of Old Men is a powerful depiction of racial tensions arising over the death of a Cajun farmer at the hands of a black man.

"Poignant, powerful, earthy...a novel of Southern racial confrontation in which a group of elderly black men band together against whites who seek vengeance for the murder of one of their own."--Booklist

"A fine novel...there is a denouement that will shock and move readers as much as it does the characters."--Philadelphia Inquirer

About Ernest J. Gaines

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Ernest Gaines was born in 1933 on the River Lake Plantation, Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. Although he was educated in California (at San Francisco State College and Stanford University) and currently lives in San Francisco, his fiction is dominated by images and characters drawn from rural Louisiana, where he was born and raised. In recounting the struggle of African Americans to, in his words, "escape the influence of the past" and "just? be men," Gaines has skillfully crafted a small, but powerful body of modern American fiction. Unquestionably the best-known and probably the best, of Gaines's novels is The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1971), a fictional account of the long life of a black woman born a slave on a Louisiana plantation. Through the stories of the many fascinating people who touch Jane's life, Gaines presents not only a moving perspective on the struggles of African Americans but also a social history of the United States since the Civil War. It is a testimony to Gaines's skill as a writer and storyteller that many people believe Jane Pittman was a real person. Indeed, the novel is frequently misshelved in the biography section of bookstores. Of Gaines's other works, Bloodline (1976), a collection of five short stories, stands out for its powerful portrayals of young men in search of self-respect and dignity. His lnovel A Lesson Before Dying, won the 1993 National Book Critics Circle Award.
Published October 31, 2012 by Vintage. 226 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime. Fiction

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In the first half of this short novel, Gaines (Catherine Carmier, Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman) makes something poetic out of a melodramatic moment in Southern race relations; in the second half the melodrama more or less takes over, as does a slightly muddled web of themes.

Sep 29 1983 | Read Full Review of A Gathering of Old Men (Vinta...

A Patchwork of Books

He realizes that these men are not afraid of Boutan family vengeance, and welcome a chance to get even after whole lifetimes of oppression.

Jul 01 1987 | Read Full Review of A Gathering of Old Men (Vinta...

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