A Lesson Before Dying, Paperback

A Lesson Before Dying Paperback

1 out of 5 (1 rating)


In a small Cajun community in the late 1940s, a young black man named Jefferson is an unwitting party to a liquor store shootout in which three men are killed.

The only survivor, he is convicted of murder and sentenced to death.

Gaines explores the deep prejudice of the American South in the tradition of Harper Lee?s To Kill A Mockingbird and Toni Morrison?s Beloved.

A Lesson Before Dying is a richly compassionate and deeply moving novel, the story of a young black man sentenced to death for a murder he did not commit, and a teacher who seeks to share his wisdom before the execution.




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The story of a black man condemned to death for a murder he didn't commit and the teacher who brings him the gift of self-respect. It's certainly quite an 'important' book, but setting aside the political implications, it wasn't written in a way that gripped me as much as I would have expected.

Also by Ernest J. Gaines