Ernest Gaines, author of ‘The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,’ has died at age 86. The Pointe Coupee native grew in popularity through books like “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” and became even more well known after Oprah Winfrey featured his “A Lesson Before Dying” in her book club. Both books were later adapted into films.
He was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and won the National Book Critics Circle Award for “A Lesson Before Dying.”
Gaines was a writer-in-residence at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He began his residency in 1981 and stayed at the university until he retired in 2004.