Ernest James Gaines is an African-American author. His works have been taught in college classrooms and translated into many languages, including French, Spanish, German, Russian and Chinese. Four of his works have been made into television movies.
His 1993 novel, A Lesson Before Dying, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. Gaines has been a MacArthur Foundation fellow, awarded the National Humanities Medal, and inducted into the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres as a Chevalier.