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Contact: Christine Payton June 22, 2007
(337) 482-6397, payton@louisiana.edu
Author will read from his works at the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum

Ernest J. Gaines, Writer in Residence Emeritus at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, will read from his works at the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum, Wednesday, June 27, at 2 p.m. The reading is being organized and co-sponsored by the students in Dr. Reggie Young's Major Literary Figures course that focuses exclusively on Gaines' work this summer.

Gaines is the author of eight books of fiction, including the classics The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and A Lesson Before Dying. He served as a member of the UL Lafayette faculty for more than two decades before he retired in 2005.

His most recent book, Mozart and Leadbelly: Stories and Essays by Ernest J. Gaines was compiled and edited by Young and fellow UL Lafayette faculty member Marcia Gaudet. Both Young and Gaudet, along with Ph.D. candidate Wiley Cash, are currently finishing a coffee table book featuring a pictorial history of Gaines as an artist titled This Louisiana Thing that Drives Me: The Literature and Legacy of Ernest J. Gaines. The book is scheduled for publication by the Center for Louisiana Studies in the fall.

In recognition of his work as a writer, Gaines has received numerous honorary doctorates, a National Book Critics Circle Award, a Louisiana Literary Award, and the Langston Hughes Award. He was named Louisiana Humanist of the Year in 1990 and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1998.

Students felt having a reading by Gaines would enhance their study of his works. “Whenever students have a chance to see and hear from an author such as Ernest Gaines, it greatly adds to their appreciation of his works,” said Young. “Some of these students will one day be teachers themselves, and they will be able to tell their students about their experience of hearing Ernest Gaines in person.”

The event is also sponsored by the UL Lafayette English Department, the Deep South Festival of Writers, and the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum. A discussion will follow the reading, and Gaines will sign copies of his books at the conclusion of the program.

The reading is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Megan Reaux mer5901@louisiana.edu or Megan Breaux at mcb6413@louisiana.edu.

Document last revised Friday, June 22, 2007 9:05 AM

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