Collected Stories of Reynolds Price

Collected Stories of Reynolds Price

For over three decades, Reynolds Price has been one of America's most distinguished writers, in a career that has been remarkable both for its virtuosity and for the variety of literary forms he has embraced. Now he shows himself as much a master of the story as he is of the novel, in a volume that presents fifty stories, including two early collections -- The Names and Faces of Heroes and Permanent Errors -- as well as more than two dozen new stories that have never been gathered together before.

In his introduction, Mr. Price explains how, after the publication of his first two collections, he wrote no new stories for almost twenty years. "But once I needed -- for unknown reasons in a new and radically altered life -- to return to the story, it opened before me like a new chance....A collection like this then," he adds, "...will show a writer's preoccupations in ways the novel severely rations (novels are partly made for that purpose -- the release from self, long flights through the Other). John Keats's assertion that 'the excellence of every Art is its intensity' has served as a license and standard for me. From the start my stories were driven by heat -- passion and mystery, often passion for the mystery I've found in particular rooms and spaces and the people they threaten or shelter -- and my general aim is the transfer of a spell of keen witness, perceived by the reader as warranted in character and act."

There is, indeed, much for the reader to "witness" here of passion and mystery, of character and act. And the variety of stories -- many of them set in Reynolds Price's native North Carolina, but a surprising number set in distant parts: Jerusalem in "An Early Christmas," the American Southwest in "Walking Lessons," and a number in Europe -- will astonish even his most devoted readers. In short, The Collected Stories of Reynolds Price is as deeply rewarding a book as any he has yet published.
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  • Scribner | 
  • 640 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439106051 | 
  • June 1993
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Chapter 1

FULL DAY

Early afternoon in the midst of fall; but the sun was behind him, raw-egg streaks of speedy light from a ball-sized furnace in a white sky. Buck even skewed his rearview mirror to dodge the hot glare that would only be natural three hours from now. Am I nodding off? He thought he should maybe pull to the shoulder and rest for ten minutes. No, he'd yet to eat; his breakfast biscuit was thinning out. One more call; then he'd push on home, be there by dark. But he took the next sharp bend in the road; and damn, the light was still pouring at him, redder now.

Buck shrugged in his mind and thought... see more

About the Author

Reynolds Price
Photo Credit: Sara Barrett

Reynolds Price

Reynolds Price (1933-2011) was born in Macon, North Carolina. Educated at Duke University and, as a Rhodes Scholar, at Merton College, Oxford University, he taught at Duke beginning in 1958 and was the James B. Duke Professor of English at the time of his death. His first short stories, and many later ones, are published in his Collected Stories. A Long and Happy Life was published in 1962 and won the William Faulkner Award for a best first novel. Kate Vaiden was published in 1986 and won the National Book Critics Circle Award. The Good Priest's Son in 2005 was his fourteenth novel. Among his thirty-seven volumes are further collections of fiction, poetry, plays, essays, and translations. Price is a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and his work has been translated into seventeen languages.

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