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Before Ernest Gaines published The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, the Southern writer was almost invisible in the literary world. Establishing Gaines as a master storyteller, the novel added new dimensions to the discourse on American slavery. This after years in Oscar, La., writing short stories, and publishing his first novel, Catherine Carmier, in 1964. Now the award-laden author of A Lesson Before Dying and A Gathering of Old Men has gotten the financial gratification of being selected by Oprah’s book club—which may or may not please the man who so persistently weighs racial injustices for blacks in rural Louisiana and the world over. David Nicholson will interview the 64-year-old Gaines at 6 p.m. at the Department of Agriculture’s Jefferson Auditorium, 12th & Independence Ave. SW. $13. For reservations call (202) 357-3030. (Jamal Watson)