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A powerful depiction of racial tensions arising over the death of a Cajun farmer at the hands of a black man--set on a Louisiana sugarcane plantation in the 1970s.
The Village Voice called A Gathering of Old Men “the best-written novel on Southern race relations in over a decade.”
About the Author
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 l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, one of France’s highest decorations. He and his wife, Dianne, live in Oscar, Louisiana.
“Gaines knows how to tell a story. . . . [He writes] with humor, a strong sense of drama and a compassionate understanding of people who find themselves in opposing positions.” —Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post
"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
“Early in this eloquent novel . . . a sheriff is summoned to a sugarcane plantation, where he finds one young white woman, about eighteen old black men, and one dead Cajun farmer. The sheriff is sure he knows who killed the Cajun—although each of the men is toting a shotgun only one of them could hit a barn door—but threats and slaps fail to change their stories. Each one claims guilt, and all but one promise to provoke a riot at the courthouse if the sheriff tries to make an arrest. In the meantime, they wait for a lynch mob that the dead man's father—like the son, a notorious brute—is sure to launch. . . . Before it is over, everyone involved has been surprised by something; the old black men not least of all, by their first taste of power and pride.” —The New Yorker
“A fine novel . . . there is a denouement that will shock and move readers as much as it does the characters, and a multiplicity of themes that raises a simple tale to grand signfiicance.” —David Bradley, Philadelphia Inquirer
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For those of you not interested in ordering from that largest river in South America that rivals the Mississippi and the Nile, but BoF is out of stock at the warehouse, try our new affiliate, Bookshop, started by a Columbia University MFA who just wants to help the Indies out a bit while being able to put a meal on the table for himself and others.
We Now Are Affiliated with Hummingbird, a Great eBook Resource!
You can still buy titles in other formats (hardcover, paperback, audio CDs) with a Books on First gift card as well as buy a Books on First giftcard which we will send especially to that lucky recipient (free postage!).
More than a card.
More value than many other store-bought surprises (except a book!)
Put a 3D paper sculpture in a loved one's hands and see the spontaneous delight.
That's a lovepop.
Tim's Bees Have Been Busy and the Honey is Back!
For Sale at Books on First
From Tim Benedict's Orion Artisinal Honey & Garlic Farm
HONEY from Tim's BEES flying around FRANKLIN GROVE, IL
Two types of honey now available in beautiful 12-oz jars:
Prairie Wildflowers -- unadulterally whatever the bees are inclined to like and Echinaea -- from Tim's special stash
It's been said that local honey is great for warding off bad germs and aiding in the relief of sinus/breathing difficulties. Regardless, it tastes great!
And What a Great Gift Idea!
Stock Up Now!
Based on the Book ...
We are always delighted when someone sees a movie in the book, because now, millions of more people know about the book! It might have been a great film or it might have been a total dud.
But, read the book yourself to see just how good or different the original is!