Ernest Gaines (born January 15, 1933) is a writer whose works have been taught in university curriculums and translated into 11 languages. Four of his novels have been adapted into films: The Autobiography Of Miss Jane Pittman (1974), Directors Guild Award, eight Emmy Awards, BAFTA Award; The Sky Is Gray 1980); A Gathering Of Old Men (1987); A Lesson Before Dying (1999), winner of Emmy Award.
He has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and he has been honored by the National Book Critics Circle Award (1993) and Oprah’s Book Club (1997). Gaines has been a MacArthur Foundation fellow, awarded the National Humanities Medal, and inducted into the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
His wrote his first novel when he was just 17-years-old, while babysitting his youngest brother. He wrapped it in brown paper, tied it with string, and sent it to a New York publisher, who rejected it. Gaines burned the manuscript, but later rewrote it to become his first published novel, Catherine Carmier (1964).
Gaines lives on Louisiana Highway 1 in a home on the old plantation where he grew up. He had the church he grew up with moved to his property.