Using the convention of a history professor who transcribes months of interviews into a coherent and episodic oral history, Gaines creates the fictional autobiography of an indomitable African-American woman who lives through slavery, emancipation, reconstruction, segregation and the beginning of the modern Civil Rights Movement. More than a history lesson and an exciting story, this novel reflects the courage of all oppressed people to push on through to their own particular "Ohio." With her sincere, expressive voice, Lynn Thigpen raises the impact of a book that was written to be heard. Conversational in tone, her narration celebrates the inventive and musical African-American dialect, which has become such a part of our American sound. Perfectly paced for its inherent storytelling quality, Thigpen's interpretation does admirable justice to an American classic. P.W. An AUDIOFILE Earphones Award winner (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
The Merriam-Webster Encylopedia of Literature
Novel by Ernest J. Gaines, published in 1971. Set in rural southern Louisiana, the novel spans 100 years of American history--from the early 1860s to the onset of the civil rights movement in the 1960s--in following the life of the elderly Jane Pittman, who witnessed those years. A child at the end of the Civil War, Jane survives a massacre by former Confederate soldiers. She serves as a steadying influence for several black men who work hard to achieve dignity and economic as well as political equality. After the death of her husband, Joe Pittman, Jane becomes a committed Christian and a spiritual guide in her community. Spurred on by the violent death of a young community leader, Jane finally confronts a plantation owner who represents the white power structure to which she has always been subservient.