Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A long and storied life

In the category of "finally got around to it," I read the Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest Gaines, which tells the story of a young slave freed by the end of the Civil War, who lives through all the turmoil of the next several decades. Reconstruction, racism, rights, death, marriage, humor -- it's all in here, and extremely well wrought. The only fault I have to find with the book is its episodic quality, which I'm not terribly fond of. I think it could have been given a little more of an arc, but at the same time, I can understand that life doesn't always fall out that way, and it follows in a great tradition of rather episodic African American literature, like Souls of Black Folk.

No comments: