"This majestic, moving, novel is an instant classic, a book that will be read, discussed and taught beyond the rest of our lives."
— Chicago Tribune
'A Lesson Before Dying reconfirms Ernest J. Gaines's position as an important American writer."
— Boston Globe
"Enormously moving ... Gaines unerringly evokes the place and time about which he writes."
"A quietly moving novel (that) takes us back to a place we've been before to impart a lesson for living."
— San Francisco Chronicle
"The lesson is valuable and apt, presented in the modest but forceful terms that we have come to expect from Ernest J. Gaines."
— Washington Post
"Gaines has a gift for evoking the tenor of life in a bygone era and making it seem vivid and immediate as something that happened only yesterday."
—Christian Science Monitor