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Wide Awake in the Pelican State

Stories by Contemporary Louisiana Writers

Wide Awake in the Pelican State( )
Editor: Dobie, Ann Brewster
Foreword by: Gaines, Ernest J.
Contribution by: Davis, Albert Belisle
ISBN:978-0-8071-4823-5
Publication Date:May 2006
Publisher:Louisiana State University Press
Book Format:Ebook
List Price:USD $12.95
Book Description:

Wide Awake in the Pelican State -- which mimics the title of Dinty W. Moore's contribution to the collection -- brings together twenty-one of the finest modern writers who claim Louisiana as home, having lived all or some part of their lives in the Pelican State. Each author shares the knack of telling a good story, a Louisiana tradition that dates back two hundred years to the tales told by African American griots and the stories swapped among Mississippi river workers on boats, in...
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Book Details
Pages:352
Physical Dimensions (W X L X H):6 x 9 Inches
Author Biography
(Editor)
Ernest James Gaines was born on January 15, 1933, on the River Lake Plantation, Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. His 1993 novel, A Lesson Before Dying, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. Gaines has been a MacArthur Foundation fellow, awarded the National Humanities Medal, and inducted into the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) as a Chevalier.

Although he was educated in California (at San Francisco State College and Stanford University), his fiction is dominated by images and characters drawn from rural Louisiana, where he was born and raised. Unquestionably the most recognizable, 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. In 1993 Gaines also won the Dos Passos Prize and in 2000 he won the National Humanities Medal.

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. In 2013 President Barack Obama presented Mr. Gaines with the National Medal of Arts.

Ernest J. Gaines passed away on November 5,2019 at this home in Oscar, LA at the age of 86.

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