A Literary Inspiration: Ernest J. Gaines: Background information when reading A Land More Kind Than Home

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A Land More Kind Than Home

A Novel

by Wiley Cash

A Land More Kind Than Home
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2012, 320 pages
    Jan 2013, 336 pages

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Beyond the Book:
A Literary Inspiration: Ernest J. Gaines

In a letter to readers, Wiley Cash describes what it was like working with the inspirational Ernest J. Gaines at a fiction workshop in Lafayette, Louisiana. He writes:

I began writing A Land More Kind Than Home while working on my Ph.D. at the University of Louisiana, where I spent five long years sweating, celebrating Mardi Gras, and missing the mountains of North Carolina. While living in Lafayette, I took a fiction workshop with Ernest J. Gaines, who taught me that by writing about home I could recreate that place no matter where I lived. Gaines made this clear to me one afternoon while we were visiting an old cemetery near the plantation where he was born. He pointed to a grave marker and said, "You remember Snookum from A Gathering of Old Men? He's buried right over there." While none of the characters in A Land More Kind Than Home are based on people who actually existed, they're all amalgams of the types of people I knew growing up. In creating these people and the place ...

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