Obit: Acclaimed novelist Ernest Gaines dies at 86

NEW ROADS, La. (AP) — Novelist Ernest J. Gaines, whose poor childhood on a small Louisiana plantation town germinated the stories of black struggles that grew into universal stories of grace and beauty, has died. He was 86. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards' office on Tuesday released word of his death. Edwards said in a statement that Gaines "used his immense vision and literary talents to tell the stories of African Americans in the South. We are all blessed that Ernest left words and stories that will continue to inspire many generations to come. "A Lesson Before Dying," published in 1993, was an acclaimed classic. Gaines was that year awarded a "genius grant" by the MacArthur Foundation, receiving $335,000 to spend over the next five years. Both "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pitt
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