Ernest J. Gaines was born outside of Baton Rouge, LA in 1933. At age 15, Gaines moved with his family to California, where he encountered greater equal access to education. After attending San Francisco State University, he was awarded fellowship at Stanford. Gaines returned to Louisiana in 1963 and garnered critical acclaim with his 1971 book The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. That book and his 1993 novel, A Lesson Before Dying, were both made into feature films. You may find these titles and other powerful works by Gaines in our collection.