“Ernest J. Gaines, award-winning novelist and author of the acclaimed The Autobiography of Jane Pittman, and a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant recipient, died of a heart attack while sleeping at his home in Oscar, Louisiana. He was 86.
A member of a longtime family of Louisiana sharecroppers, Gaines was born in poverty on the River Lake Plantation near False River. He was schooled on the plantation by seasonal visiting teachers and eventually moved to California at the age of 15 (schooling for African American kids ended at the 8th grade). Gaines attended San Francisco State University, and served two years in the Army, before winning a writing fellowship to Stanford University.”
– Publishers Weekly
Several of Gaines’ titles are shown below. To see a complete list: