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Kate Vaiden (Price) - Author Bio

Author Bio
Birth—February 1, 1933
Where—Macon, North Carolina, USA
Education—B.A., Duke University; Rhodes Scholar, Oxford
  University
Awards—National Book Critics Circle Award
Currently—lives in North Carolina


Reynolds Price, novelist, poet, playwright and essayist, author of the bestseller Kate Vaiden and Roxanna Slade, is one of the most accomplished writers ever to come out of the South. He is an author rooted in its old life and ways; and this is his vivid, powerful memoir of his first twenty-one years growing up in North Carolina. Spanning the years from 1933 to 1954, Price accurately captures the spirit of a community recovering from the Depression, living through World War II and then facing the economic and social changes of the 1950s. In closely linked chapters focusing on individuals, Price describes with compassion and honesty the white and black men and women who shaped his youth. The cast includes his young, devoted parents; a loving aunt; his younger brother Bill; childhood friends and enemies and the teachers who fostered and encouraged his love of writing. (From the publisher.)

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Reynolds Price is an American novelist, poet, dramatist, essayist and James B. Duke Professor of English at Duke University. Apart from English literature, Price has had a lifelong interest in ancient languages and Biblical scholarship. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Price was born in Macon, North Carolina and, after attending public schools of his native state, went to Duke University, where he graduated summa cum laude in 1955. Afterwards he went to Merton College, Oxford for three years as a Rhodes Scholar and wrote a book about life at Oxford, called 'The Source of Light'. After his return in 1958, he started teaching at Duke University, which he has been doing ever since. His first short stories were published in Duke's student literary periodical, Archive. Eudora Welty also helped Price get his first couple of books published; she sent one of his early stories, "Michael Egerton" to her own publisher, but Price's first book was not a collection of stories; it was a novel entitled A Long and Happy Life.

His other books include his memoir Clear Pictures, and his novels The Tongues of Angels, Blue Calhoun, Kate Vaiden, Roxanna Slade and The Great Circle. The recent The Good Priest's Son is an account of a 9/11 experience.

Price is a Southern writer. All his books are set in the South and more particularly in his native North Carolina. Price once replied when asked why he chose to remain in North Carolina: "It's the place about which I have perfect pitch." Price has cited Southern writer Eudora Welty as one of his early influences. He has also been noted for his sexually frank writing, and the ambiguous nature of his own sexuality, which has been of critical interest to scholars

He began teaching at Duke shortly after completing his Rhodes Scholarship in the late 1950s. For more than forty years he has taught a class on Milton, and former students include the writers Josephine Humphreys and Anne Tyler, along with the actress Annabeth Gish Chas Salmen.

Price is a favorite author of Bill Clinton, who invited him to dinner at the White House early in his first term.

Price wrote the lyrics to two songs by James Taylor: "Copperline" and "New Hymn."

Price has received numerous literary honors, including the National Book Critics Circle Award, the William Faulkner Foundation Award, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his memoir Clear Pictures (1989). He is also a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Price's book, Feasting The Heart (2000), is a collection of controversial and personal essays, originally broadcast to great acclaim on National Public Radio's All Things Considered. (From Wikipedia.)




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