Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 7:17 PM ET, 01/20/2011

Author Reynolds Price dies at 77

By Matt Schudel
Matt Schudel

Reynolds Price, a North Carolina novelist whose books about life in the South were revered by readers and critics alike, died Thursday, Jan. 20, in Durham, N.C. He was 77 and had a heart attack.

Price was considered one of the great stylists of modern fiction, sometimes combining a mandarin manner with the rich colloquial speech of his native North Carolina. His best-known books include "A Rich and Happy Life," "Kate Vaiden" and three volumes of memoirs.

In 1984, he became paralyzed from the waist down after a cancerous tumor was found near his spinal column. Price had been associated with Duke University since 1951, when he enrolled as a freshman. He was on the Duke faculty for more than 50 years.

I interviewed Price once and found him to be, quite possibly, the most eloquent person I have ever spoken with, one on one. He had a richly beautiful speaking voice -- which can be heard on a series of commentaries he did for NPR in the 1990s -- and the sentences rolled out of his mouth in fully formed paragraphs, complete with pauses for punctuation.

A full obituary will follow

By Matt Schudel  | January 20, 2011; 7:17 PM ET
Categories:  Matt Schudel  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Don Kirshner, rock-and-roll impresario
Next: Jack LaLanne dies at 96; fitness guru shaped America's health-consciousness


Reynolds Price was my professor at Duke. He was a master at teaching, writing, and above all thinking. He gave us, as students and readers, a profound and insightful focus on the universal human experience. A consummate gentleman, he stands out in a coarsened societal fabric. And his gallantry in surmounting the medical challenges he faced for years serves as an example to us all. He was a rare person and will be sorely missed.

Posted by: NewMexicoPatriot | January 22, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

One minor correction -- the book's title is "A Long and Happy Life."

Posted by: mboyddc | January 24, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company