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Fighting Illiteracy with 'A Lesson Before Dying'

New Orleans, where roughly one-third of residents can barely read, has become the latest of several U.S. cities to use the book A Lesson Before Dying in a campaign to fight illiteracy and promote reading. Set in 1948, the novel addresses literacy, poverty and race relations in the segregated South. NPR's Bob Edwards speaks with author Ernest Gaines.

Copyright 2004 NPR

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