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Collected Stories of Reynolds Price [Kindle Edition]

Reynolds Price
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

includes The Names and Faces of Heroes and Permanent Errors , as well as several stories not previously collected.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The 50 stories in this massive volume include works from two much earlier collections ( The Names and Faces of Heros , LJ 6/15/63, and Permanent Errors , LJ 8/70), plus a number of unpublished or uncollected stories from later years. The author explains in a preface that for 20 years he concentrated on novels, including the award-winning Kate Vaiden ( LJ 12/86). The stories have a strong autobiographical lilt, depicting childhood in North Carolina and family relationships. Some of the family stories are dark and violent; in "Son," for instance, an abusive father tries to explain his failure as a parent to his son. Others are more wistfully nostalgic: "Uncle Grant" recalls the itinerant old black man who did yard work for a boy's family and was, for a time, his closest companion. All in all, a significant collection of American short fiction.
- Ann H. Fisher, Radford P.L., Va.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2243 KB
  • Print Length: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (June 21, 1993)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0030VVOHE
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #841,714 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good October 13, 2008
While reading Reynolds Price's The Collected Stories (culled from his two prior collections- The Names and Faces of Heroes and Permanent Errors- as well as new tales) it occurred to me that he was chiefly a proponent of the idea that it is better to have an ambition to excel rather than an ambition to acquire. Almost all of Price's protagonists seek to better themselves in the face of death, hardship, ignominy, or the like, yet few subscribe to the materialism that plagues his native land. Thus, he seems to come from an older time when this was the rule- not the exception, even though he was born in 1933, well into the Twentieth Century. In a sense, the best of his short stories, which is the bulk of the thirty-nine herein collected, are both a paean to that ideal, as well as an exemplary illustration of the classic difference between which sort of writing dominates a writer's mind- the intellectual and analytical, or the emotional and spiritual. Writers such as Richard Ford and William Trevor (whose Collected Stories I read alternating with Price's) are clearly in the former camp. They look at things, characters, and situations intently, placing emphasis on such to the point that often incisive soliloquies break out. Writers like Monica Wood or Edward P. Jones are clearly emotional writers foremost. This does not mean their stories lack intellect, just as Trevor's, nor Ford's, lack emotion, simply that emotion is the primal reason for their storytelling. Reynolds Price sits almost squarely on the fence between those two camps. Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some brilliant; some just plain disturbing February 22, 2011
By Karen
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I admit I haven't finished all the stories yet. I love Price's way with words and images. Many of the stories are brilliant in his masterful telling--he really evokes the people, places, and feelings for the reader. I guess that's why the really disturbing stories are so very disturbing. I stopped reading this book at night. That said, I do recommend the book--but with fair warning. Parts of it might trouble your mind and soul. Clearly, it's meant to do so and that's not necessarily bad. It's just not easy.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Too close to home August 13, 2013
I enjoyed most of these stories though I also skipped a handful. I felt that in most cases he drew too heavily, and too often, on his own life story. In short, I would have preferred a MUCH wider world. A couple of these, however, are masterful. "Waiting at Dachau" was by far the best story in the collection, and by happenstance, it was the farthest from his own life.
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More About the Author

Reynolds Price was born in Macon, North Carolina in 1933. Educated at Duke University and, as a Rhodes Scholar, at Merton College, Oxford University, he has taught at Duke since 1958 and is now James B. Duke Professor of English.

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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