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Ernest Gaines Biography

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About the Author

Ernest Gaines was born on a plantation on January 15, 1933 in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. Even though he has lived primarily in San Francisco, where he was educated, Gaines's first fifteen years in Louisiana growing up in a culture whose complicated racist "rules" governing whites, Cajuns, and blacks were still in effect has shaped his imagination. Nothing is left of that life today except a half-acre hundredyear-old black cemetery surrounded by the plantation's sugar cane, yet Gaines still is tied to people buried there. In the world in which Gaines lived up to midadolescence—a world of meandering rivers, swamps, Spanish moss, pecan trees, cane, corn, and cotton—whites were the "rule" originators, while black people fought losing battles with Cajuns for good land to sharecrop. All seemed to live through dilemmas of survival and respect.

On the plantation, Gaines learned to read and write in...

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This section contains 445 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our A Gathering of Old Men Study Guide
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A Gathering of Old Men from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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