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Introduction Heralded by some as the best African American author writing in America today Ernest James Gaines is best known and celebrated for his novel The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman As a black writer Gaines has taken full advantage of African American culture by writing stories about rural Louisiana In doing so Gaines has made himself a country-boy writer of folk tales more grown than made These stories tell of the struggles of blacks to make a living in a land that has not championed the rights of all its people The story of Miss Jane Pittman is a supposed interview with a woman who is 110 years old She has witnessed and been a part of the history of black America since the end of the Civil War She tells her story to the persistent recorder in her own words and with humor This editor admits that he restructured the narrative so it would be more accessible to a novel reader but he tried to maintain as much as possible her voice A triumph in American literature the subject of the novel has been taken to the heart of its readers and was made into an Emmy Award-winning television movie Plot Introduction The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman follows the life of one woman from her emancipation as a slave in the 1860s to her initiation into the Civil Rights Movement of the early 1960s A work of historical fiction the Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman takes place in rural Louisiana It opens with an encounter between the ostensible editor of the novel a high school history teacher and Miss Jane Pittman a woman who is about 110 years old He wants to use her life story to teach his students history as it has affected real people The editor attests that he has tried to reproduce Janes story in her own words and the rest of the novel is narrated
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