The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman has sold over a million copies nationwide since its publication in 1971, making the fictional character of Miss Jane so real many people don’t know she exists only in the imagination of Louisiana-born author Ernest J. Gaines. Miss Jane is 100 years old when she is interviewed by an area high school teacher looking to teach his students more about plantation society in the Deep South. Her story is not only a vivid picture of the South before the dawn of the civil rights era, but also a story of one woman’s survival against overwhelming odds. A stunning autobiography of a courageous woman who won her battles with grace and dignity. Born a slave and freed when she was 10, Jane leaves the plantation of her childhood and heads in the direction of Ohio, in search of a white abolitionist who once befriended her. Accompanied by Ned, a young orphan, Jane struggles to get out of Louisiana. What happens in the years that follow is a tale of loss and heartache and renewed hope, imprinted on its aged teller’s face like furrows in a russet field. Now, in the racial upheavals of the ’60s, Miss Jane brings closure to one generation, and inspiration to the next.
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