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Publisher's Summary

This is a novel in the guise of the tape-recorded recollections of a black woman who has lived 110 years, who has been both a slave and a witness to the black militancy of the 1960s. In this woman, Ernest Gaines has created a legendary figure, a woman equipped to stand beside William Faulkner's Dilsey in The Sound and the Fury. Miss Jane Pittman, like Dilsey, has "endured", has seen almost everything and foretold the rest.
©1971 Bantam Books (P)1996 by Blackstone Audiobooks
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Critic Reviews

"Gaines' novel brings to mind other great works: The Odyssey, for the way his heroine's travels manage to summarize the American history of her race; and Huckleberry Finn for the clarity of her voice, for her rare capacity to sort through the mess of years and things to find the one true story of it all." (Newsweek)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Susan on 11-11-08

At great listen

This was such a lovely account of a time we no longer want to think of as part of america. The story tells a sad story with a main charater that has such a positive attitude we could all learn from.

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By T. N. Taylor on 02-07-18

Why did I wait so long?

I cannot believe I waited until I was 52 to read this (ok, listen to) this book. I was captivated from the very beginning. I’m just sorry it isn’t a true story. Miss Jane Pittman is an interesting character that “lived” through incredible times. Many of the things she discusses in her “autobiography” sound as though they are steeped in truth (the “high water of 27” for example and the Frenchman that built the first levees). I would love to learn more about the area and the period. However, if Miss Jane and her posse aren’t there in the history books, it just wouldn’t be as much fun learning that history. I wouldn’t have a vested interest. I wouldn’t be as interested in learning about the general history of an area or era as I would be in following the history of a particular family of individual through time.

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