A Lesson before Dying Study Guide

A Lesson before Dying

A Lesson before Dying by Ernest Gaines

A Lesson Before Dying is the story of the trial of Jefferson, an innocent man convicted of murder on the sole basis of his black heritage. Set in Louisiana during the racial tensions of the 1940s, the story chronicles Jefferson's trial and execution and their impact on the people surrounding the man himself. The novel's tone ranges from broadly cynical to vibrantly hopeful, encompassing the spirit of racial politics in America throughout the twentieth century.

A Lesson before Dying Book Notes