The original version of the novel was written and sent to a publisher when Ernest Gaines was 17 years old. It was rejected and Gaines destroyed the manuscript, and when he graduated from college he wrote a more mature version. Gaines was born to a Louisiana sharecropping family, but for the North to be able to get a better education. Like all Gaines works, you get a realistic picture of Southern African-Americans and how they relate to each other. Racism is always around the corner, but the main idea is that African-Americans have hopes, dreams, and problems just like any other kind of people.
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