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The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman | [Ernest J. Gaines]

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman

This is a novel in the guise of the tape-recorded recollections of a black woman who has lived 110 years, who has been both a slave and a witness to the black militancy of the 1960s. Miss Jane Pittman has "endured," has seen almost everything and foretold the rest.
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Publisher's Summary

This is a novel in the guise of the tape-recorded recollections of a black woman who has lived 110 years, who has been both a slave and a witness to the black militancy of the 1960s. In this woman, Ernest Gaines has created a legendary figure, a woman equipped to stand beside William Faulkner's Dilsey in The Sound and the Fury. Miss Jane Pittman, like Dilsey, has "endured", has seen almost everything and foretold the rest.

©1971 Bantam Books; (P)1996 by Blackstone Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"Gaines' novel brings to mind other great works: The Odyssey, for the way his heroine's travels manage to summarize the American history of her race; and Huckleberry Finn for the clarity of her voice, for her rare capacity to sort through the mess of years and things to find the one true story of it all." (Newsweek)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (53 )
5 star
 (20)
4 star
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3 star
 (6)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (4)
Overall
4.0 (26 )
5 star
 (14)
4 star
 (5)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (26 )
5 star
 (13)
4 star
 (8)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
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1 star
 (1)
Performance
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  •  
    Susan West Granby, CT, USA 11-11-08
    Susan West Granby, CT, USA 11-11-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    "At great listen"

    This was such a lovely account of a time we no longer want to think of as part of america. The story tells a sad story with a main charater that has such a positive attitude we could all learn from.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    blazer Massachusetts, USA 05-19-14
    blazer Massachusetts, USA 05-19-14 Member Since 2012

    addicted to books

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    3
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
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    Story
    "Excellent Story"
    What did you love best about The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman?

    I really enjoyed this book. The story was compelling and the narration was very good. However, there were jumps and skips in the recording that were very discordant to the listening.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kymberlee E. Braun Georgia 03-25-14
    Kymberlee E. Braun Georgia 03-25-14 Member Since 2013

    Book Monger

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Two Thumbs Down"
    What would have made The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman better?

    I'm not sure if it was the story line or the narration but this was the worst book I have ever listened to. It was not a compelling story line and the "He said" "she said" "they said" was so so overused.


    What was most disappointing about Ernest J. Gaines’s story?

    The teaser promised a great biography, spanning 100+ years, about and told through the eyes of a former slave. In reality, this book was a collection of unrelated events that occurred over the lifetime of this woman. Most events were unremarkable and there was no conclusion.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nina Arlington, VA, USA 06-14-06
    Nina Arlington, VA, USA 06-14-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    342
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    245
    107
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
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    Overall
    "Needs an editor!"

    I wish I could have seen this play with Cicely Tyson in the 60's. I'm sure it was edited time-wise and very powerful. It's still a good story, and may be a true story, but the unabridged version sort of rambles, and is a few hours too long.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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