Students will soon have the opportunity to immerse themselves in 1940s Louisiana, where racism runs rampant and ‘an eye for an eye’ is a way of life.
The Keith Leftwich Memorial Library has ordered 300 copies of Ernest J. Gaines’ 1993 novel “A Lesson Before Dying” in anticipation of the national Big Read program, said Barbara King, Library Services director.
The 256-page book takes place in a small Cajun community, where a schoolteacher tries to help Jefferson — a black man condemned to death for a robbery he didn’t commit. He wants Jefferson to get back his dignity before he is executed.
King said the book is being offered as a part of The Big Read, a reading program created by the National Endowment for the Arts to restore reading to American culture.
“It’s important to get reading back into society,” King said. “In the age of computers, people just don’t want to read for pleasure anymore. They’ve gotten away from it.”