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"Twelve-year-old Bird Gardner lives a quiet existence with his loving but broken father, a former linguist who now shelves books in Harvard University's library. Bird knows to not ask too many questions, stand out too much, or stray too far. For a decade, their lives have been governed by laws written to preserve 'American culture' in the wake of years of economic instability and violence. To keep the peace and restore prosperity, the authorities...
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Set in a small Cajun community in the late 1940s, A Lesson Before Dying is a novel of one man condemned to die for a crime he did not commit and a young man who visits him in his cell. In the end, the two men forge a bond as they both come to understand the simple heroism of resisting--and defying--the expected.
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