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Reviews by Contributor: Gaines, Ernest J. (1)

Happy Days Are Here Again

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman

By Ernest J. Gaines  

21 Nov, 2020

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Ernest J. Gaines’ 1971 The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman is a standalone historical novel. 

The premise: an unnamed teacher interviews an ancient black woman, believing that she will provide a unique historical perspective.

Jane is a child slave still known as Ticey” when the first hint of change to come arrives in the form of Union troops chasing slaver soldiers. A Union officer named Brown takes a passing interest in Jane. He renames her Jane and then leaves. Although she will never see him again, the encounter transforms her life.

A couple of years later, the slaver state falls. The white slave-owning class is forced to submit to the Emancipation Proclamation. Slaves like Jane are now free. Life will no doubt be wonderful.

Or not.

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