Ernest Gaines was born on a plantation in Pointe Coupee Parish near New Roads, Louisiana, which is the Bayonne of all his fictional works. He is writer-in-residence emeritus at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In 1993 Gaines received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for his lifetime achievements. In 1996 he was named a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, one of France's highest decorations. He and his wife, Dianne, live in Oscar, Louisiana.
"Mr. Gaines writes with notable control, a superb ear for speech. .
. . Brilliantly subtle and complex." --The New York Times Book
"[Gaines] unerrringly evokes the time and place about which he writes." --Los Angeles Times
"Gaines knows how to tell a story--[He writes] with humor, a strong sense of drama and a compassioinate understanding of people who find themselves in opposing positions." --Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post