Books That Inspire 2006

A Lesson Before Dying
Ernest Gaines

In A Lesson Before Dying, Ernest J. Gaines takes us back to a 1940s Cajun community where we meet two young men, one college-educated and the other wrongly convicted, on death row. Grant has been asked by Jefferson’s godmother to educate him before he dies. Grant is unaware of the lessons he himself will learn as a result of the bond they form together. This novel addresses the desire to dispel myths and to know heroes. It reminds us of a pain, felt not only by a young man, but by his community. Yet, it also teaches us that friendship and education can free the mind and inspire others.
Laura Cullen

OU Scholars Program