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Tag Archives: Ernest J. Gaines
Huffington Post Reveals 50 Books Every African Americans Should Read – How Many AW Winners Made The List?
Huffington Post's Black Voices rounded up 50 books the editors think every African American should read (they added on Twitter that of course the list has value to everyone, but these books focus primarily on the black experience in America). We were thrilled to see how many Anisfield-Wolf winners were on the list, proving to us once again that our winners stand out in the crowded literary field. Gwendolyn Brooks "Annie Allen" (1949) Edwidge Danticat "Breath, Eyes, Memory" (1999) Chimamanda Adichie "Half Of A Yellow Sun" (2008) Ralph Ellison "Invisible Man" (1952) Edward P. Jones "The Known World" (2003) Alex Haley "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" (1987) Toni Morrison "Song of Solomon" (1977), "Sula" (1973) and "The Bluest Eye" (1970) Langston... Read More →
We realize the headline is a bit of hyperbole but in researching Mr. Gaines for this week's exploration of his life and works, we realize that he has a tremendous way with words. Not just on the page, but in interviews as well. English rolls off his tongue in a way that to the ear often sounds like poetry, and his fingers create rich worlds without burdening the reader with five-dollar words. We gathered some of his best quotes from interview past so you could see for yourself how he does it: On writing for the reader: I write as well as I can and I learned from reading people like Hemingway, and others, that writing less is better. If I can say something in five words instead of seven words, I’ll use five. Sometimes it’s a little difficult for some people to understand it if... Read More →
Each week, we’ll be helping you to get to know our winners better (what a great bunch they are) and highlighting the best of their work, interviews and essays. This week, our focus is on Ernest J. Gaines, our 2000 Lifetime Achievement winner. "...to me, without books, life would be a mistake." In this video with the National Endowment for the Arts, Ernest J. Gaines sat down to talk about one of his most popular books, A Lesson Before Dying. He talks about getting paid to write letters for the less-literate members of the community (getting a nickel or a tea cake for his efforts), about learning from white writers, about his humble beginnings. It's worth watching if you value good conversations about literature. Read More →