In this collection of stories and essays, the beloved author of the classic, best-selling novel A Lesson Before Dying shares the inspirations behind his books and his reasons for becoming a writer. Told in the simple and powerful prose that is a hallmark of his craft, these writings by Ernest J. Gaines faithfully evoke the sorrows and joys of rustic Southern life. From his depiction of his childhood move to California — a move that propelled him to find books that conjured the sights, smells, and locution of his native Louisiana home — to his description of the real-life murder case that gave him the idea for his masterpiece, this wonderful collection is a revelation of both man and writer.
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|Title of Religion eBook: Mozart and Leadbelly|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
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|Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||Mozart and Leadbelly|
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Mozart and Leadbelly
Mozart and Leadbelly
In the early sixties, many of my colleagues were leaving the United States for Europe, Africa, Mexico, and so on, where they planned to write their great novels. They felt that America had become too money-crazed for them to live here and concentrate on their work. I was supposed to leave in the summer of 1962 with a man and his wife for Guadalajara, Mexico. I had been working on Catherine Carmier for three years but was getting nowhere with it. I had written it from an omniscient point of view, a first-person point of view, and a multiple point of view. I had changed the plot many times. Nothing seemed to work, and I figured it was because I needed to get away from the country, as my friends were doing. I was working at the post office during the summer of 1962 when my friend and his wife left for Mexico; I told them that I had to make some more money first, and that I would join them before the end of the year.
But something happened that summer of 1962 that would change my life forever. James Meredith enrolled at the University of Mississippi. Every night we watched the news-my family, my friends, and I-and it seemed that we cared for nothing else or spoke of nothing else but the bravery of this one young man. It seemed that when we spoke of his courage, I felt family and friends looking at me. Maybe it was just my sense of guilt. One night in October or November, I wrote my friends in Mexico a letter: "Dear Jim and Carol, I am sorry but I will not be joining you. I must go back home to write my book. My best wishes, Ernie."
I contacted an uncle and aunt in Baton Rouge, Louisi