Price, Reynolds

Price, Reynolds (Edward Reynolds Price), 1933–2011, American writer, b. Macon, N.C., grad. Duke Univ. (A.B., 1955), Oxford (B.Litt., 1958). He began teaching at Duke in 1958 and remained there for more than 50 years. Price, who lived nearly all his life in E North Carolina, wrote 13 novels and numerous short stories and was acclaimed for his vivid portrayal of Southern life, his evocation of Southern dialog, and his finely wrought prose style. He burst on the literary scene with the novel A Long and Happy Life (1962), the tale of a Southern romance that introduces the spirited Rosacoke Mustian, the first of his many memorable female characters. She reappears in the short stories of The Names and Faces of Heroes (1963) and the novel Good Hearts (1988), and her brother is the central character of A Generous Man (1966). Price also chronicled a Southern family in the trilogy A Great Circle (1975, 1981, 1995). In 1984 he was stricken with spinal cancer and the radiation treatment that saved his life left him paralyzed. He subsequently completed the Depression-era novel Kate Vaiden (1986), widely considered his finest work. Later novels include The Tongues of Angels (1990), Roxanna Slade (1998), and The Good Priest's Son (2005). Price also wrote essays, poetry, plays, memoirs, and translations of the Bible.

See his memoirs Clear Pictures (1989), A Whole New Life (1994), Ardent Spirits (2009), and Midstream: An Unfinished Memoir (2012); J. Humphries, ed., Conversations with Reynolds Price (1991); studies by C. Rooke (1983) and J. A. Schiff (1996 and as ed. 1998).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: American Literature: Biographies