Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman

Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman

4.17 (10,181 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
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Product details

  • Paperback | 254 pages
  • 120 x 180mm
  • Random House Children's Publishers UK
  • Corgi Childrens
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0552671819
  • 9780552671811

Review Text

Gaines's Miss Jane is an invented character roughly in the standard mammy mold, but with such strong personal presence that readers may still have to remind themselves this is fiction. Born a slave on a Louisiana plantation, she was not yet in her teens when emancipation came and she began her journey toward freedom as a literal walk overland to Ohio. When her narrative ends she is still moving out to join the freedom marchers though she is well over one hundred and has made precious little progress geographically or legally. To that extent her story is that of the southern Negro, particularly the southern Negro woman, and its private incidents reflect matters of public record. What distinguishes this account is the sustained, gritty characterization and its definitely personal slant on representative people and events. Miss Jane has been persuaded to reminisce by a young historian hoping to find "material" he can "use." The difference between material and a life is quietly brought home, but that is finally the point that dominates all others just as it is Miss Jane who seems strangely to have the upper hand with circumstances beyond her control. Artless art with a strong cumulative effect. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

10,181 ratings
4.17 out of 5 stars
5 43% (4,404)
4 36% (3,631)
3 17% (1,754)
2 3% (280)
1 1% (112)
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