Meet Ernest J. Gaines

Ernest Gaines at his graduation from Vallejo High School, 1951. Click the photo to link to Gaines’ own autobiography.
Ernest J. Gaines (1933-2019)  wrote ten novels. Published in 1971, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman was the third novel.

Learn about Ernest J. Gaines and his works from our project partner, the Ernest J. Gaines Center

Read his obituary: Genzlinger, Neil. “Ernest J. Gaines, Author of ‘The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,’ Is Dead at 86,” New York Times, 5 November 2019, p. A24. 

Ernest Gaines received The Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) on February 15, 1996. This award was established in 1957 by the French government to recognize eminent artists and writers, as well as people who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world. The Order of Arts and Letters is given out three times annually under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Culture and Communication.
Ernest Gaines was named a MacArthur Fellow for the period 1993 – 1998 by The Board of Directors of The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The MacArthur Fellowship is a $625,000 award given to extraordinarily talented and creative individuals as an investment in their potential.