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Ernest Gaines Biography | Author of A Gathering of Old Men

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Author Biography

Ernest J. Gaines was born on January 15, 1933, on the River Lake Plantation near New Roads, Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. He was the son of Manuel (a laborer) and Adrienne J. (Colar) Gaines. As a boy, Gaines worked in the plantation fields near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 1948 he moved to Vallejo, California with his mother and stepfather, (Gaines's parents separated when he was young). Gaines read voraciously in the Vallejo Public Library but found nothing that resonated with his own experience of life, since all the writers he read were white and did not portray blacks accurately.

Gaines attended Vallejo Junior College before being conscripted into the army in 1953. He served until 1955, writing fiction during his off-duty hours. After military service he enrolled at San Francisco State College (now University), where he majored in English. His short story, "The Turtles," which appeared in the magazine, Transfer, was his first...

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This section contains 438 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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