Cover image for Voices from the quarters : the fiction of Ernest J. Gaines
Voices from the quarters : the fiction of Ernest J. Gaines
Doyle, Mary Ellen, 1932-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xiv, 245 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3557.A355 Z654 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



""Who will write about the way my people talk, the way my people sing?" Mary Ellen Doyle gathers and makes audible the voices arising from all of Ernest J. Gaines's fiction to date - the indelible characters who inhabit the author's lifelong inspirational territory: the bayous, cane fields, and plantation homes of Louisiana's Pointe Coupee Parish. Beginning with the author's upbringing and influences on River Lake Plantation - amid the pecan trees and live oaks, the big house and the tenant quarters - this penetrating study offers close readings of Gaines's uncollected short fiction, the early collection Bloodline, and all of his novels, including The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and the acclaimed A Lesson Before Dying."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Author Notes

Mary Ellen Doyle is a member of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, and her previous publications on Ernest Gaines include interviews, essays, and an annotated bibliography. She has taught African American literature since 1967 and currently divides her time between writing, religious ministry, and teaching at Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Doyle's study should quickly establish itself at the front rank of a growing body of scholarship about this durable southern African American writer whose works have been a persistent presence on the US literary landscape for the past four decades. Drawing on both meticulous research and extensive conversations and interviews with Gaines's relatives and friends in River Lake Plantation, Louisiana, Doyle (Spalding Univ.) offers a lively and illuminating study of the scope of Gaines's work, from his previously unexamined short fiction through his popular novels--The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, A Gathering of Old Men, and A Lesson before Dying (all successfully adapted for film). The study targets an eclectic audience, and it is equally eclectic in its discussion of the forms and themes of Gaines's writing. However, the author's persistent preoccupation is how Gaines shapes the voices and narrative points of view of his fiction, an approach she defines as "camcorder narration." Engaging and accessible, Doyle's study supersedes Valerie Babb's groundbreaking contribution to Twayne's "TUSAS" series, Ernest Gaines (CH, Mar'92). As the most up-to-date contribution to Gaines scholarship, it should attract the attention of a wide range of readers interested in Gaines. Highly recommended for all collections. J. A. Miller George Washington University

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Abbreviationsp. xv
Introductionp. 1
1 Place, People, Personal Experience: "This Louisiana Thing"p. 4
2 Experiments in Theme and Technique: The Uncollected Short Storiesp. 25
3 Sketching the Line, Sounding a New Voice: Bloodlinep. 45
4 The Trauma of Choice: Catherine Carmierp. 78
5 Two Men in the System: Of Love and Dustp. 107
6 Tales Within Tales: The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittmanp. 130
7 The Man or the Message: In My Father's Housep. 154
8 New Visions and Voices: A Gathering of Old Menp. 175
9 Many Teachers Taught: A Lesson Before Dyingp. 203
Conclusionp. 234
Bibliographyp. 237
Indexp. 243