For several of his childhood years, Ernest Gaines lived with a great-aunt in rural
Louisiana. The landscape, people, and language that he knew intimately in those
years became an integral part of the fictional world he later created in his novels.
He listened to the talk of the older people as they sat on his aunt's porch visiting,
and their speech gave authenticity to the voices of such characters as Miss Jane Pittman.
Gaines left Louisiana when he was 15, but he returns regularly to remain connected to the
life there that is so central to his writing.