For Immediate Release
Brittany Racca
(337) 365-1540
(888) 942-3742
Books Along the Teche Festival's Great Southern Writer: Ernest J. Gaines
NEW IBERIA, La. (December 8, 2017) -- The Books Along the Teche Literary Festival is proud to announce that Ernest J. Gaines will be the featured Great Southern Writer at the festival to be held April 6 -8, 2018, in downtown New Iberia. Gaines recently debuted his latest book, The Tragedy of Brady Sims, at the 2017 National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.

Ernest J. Gaines is a world-renowned novelist, short story writer and teacher. He is among the most widely read and highly respected contemporary authors of African American fiction. Gaines was born in Pointe Coupee Parish in Louisiana. He enrolled in San Francisco State University where he began publishing stories in the university’s quarterly literary journal. These stories secured him a place in Stanford University’s graduate program for creative writing.

In 1971, Gaines completed the work that was to make him famous, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. In 1981, he accepted the position of Writer-in-Residence at the then University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette. Not long into his tenure, he published A Gathering of Old Men (1983) followed by A Lesson Before Dying, one of his most critically acclaimed novels.

Gaines retired in 2004 and became Writer-in-Residence Emeritus at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. His latest book, The Tragedy of Brady Sims, was just published in August 2017. He and his wife, Dianne, live in Oscar, La. near the plantation where Gaines was born and raised.

Gaines will speak at the Sliman Theater (129 E. Main St.) at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 7, 2018, and the presentation will include a question and answer session with the audience. Please plan on joining us for this landmark event during the festival.

Attendance is free, but please reserve your seat via Eventbrite, as this is anticipated to be a standing room only event.

The festival is an event of the Iberia Preservation Alliance, formed by the Iberia Cultural Resources Association, the Bayou Teche Museum, Shadows-on-the-Teche and the New Iberia Main Street Program. The 2018 festival is supported by a grant from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

More information is available at and on Facebook. For travel information, please visit
The Iberia Parish Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official parish marketing agency promoting New Iberia, Avery Island, Jefferson Island, Jeanerette, Loreauville and Delcambre as a destination. Marketing programs target leisure travelers, business travelers, media, entertainment industry, and the travel trade including group tour planners, meeting planners, sports planners and special event planners. The bureau operates a parish welcome center in New Iberia.
For more information on parish events and tourism assets, call the bureau at 337-365-1540 or visit