Ernest J. Gaines, a prominent African-American writer, was born on January 15, 1933. He grew up in the slave quarters of a plantation in Pointe Coupee, Louisiana, a place which had an important influence on his fiction. He received his early education there in a schoolroom in a plantation church. When he was fifteen he moved to Vallejo, California to live with his mother and step-father. When he was seventeen he wrote his first novel. It was rejected by a publisher. He later rewrote it and published it as Catherine Carmier.
He served with the Army for two years and won a writing fellowship to Stanford University. Among his many published works are his novels The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1971); A Lesson Before Dying (1993); and In My Father’s House (1978). Several of his works have been made into film, most notably the television version of The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman whichaired in 1974. Gaines has received many honors and awards for his work.
Since 1984 he divides his time between San Francisco and Lafayette, Louisiana where he teaches a creative writing workshop every fall at the University of Louisiana.
Scope and Contents
This small collection was a gift from John Peede to Vanderbilt University in June of 1997. It consists of one uncorrected proof copy of In My Father’s House and a holograph manuscript fragment of 32 pages front and back of the same title.
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