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Kate Vaiden Paperback – May 29, 1998
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
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.
Top Customer Reviews
Although this novel (which was awarded the National Book Critics Circle prize) is ostensibly about the entire "life" of the title character, its focus is on her youth, coming-of-age during WWII in rural N. Carolina (Price's home state), and later ramifications. What makes this book so memorable for me is Kate's voice. Price has written her story in first-person, and I found it hard to believe it was written by a man: his insights are so intuitive and so in tune with what I have learned about women's emotional lives (at age 38) that I was astonished. This book is one of the best examples I have ever encountered of narrative control; Price never falters as he slowly reveals Kate's tragic life. (Another example of brilliant first-person narration is James Dickey's _To the White Sea_, his last novel before his death a few months ago.)
Kate Vaiden is a character and a book well worth your time, so long as you are not concerned primarily with plotting. Although this book is character-oriented, it is not tedious; in fact, the plot is rather unusual, both in the characters Kate encounters in her journeys (both physical and emotional) and in the events which occur (sometimes to her, and sometimes caused by her).
_Kate Vaiden_ would be a particularly good book for a book group, especially a women's group (although, again, I'm a man and I think it's one of the best books I've read in years).Read more ›
Kate is not entirely believable, even given the conventions of fiction and a little poetic license - she is a little TOO self-directed and unswayed by others, and the characterization of her sexuality is curiously flat -- what was intended perhaps as the reticence of the era comes across as an absence of passion, even for Gaston.
The writing and characterizations, the subtlety and flamboyance (two qualities not often combined) of the prose and dialogue were an immense pleasure to read and to hear in my mind's ear. In the grand tradition of Southern novelists, Reynolds Price captures not just Kate's life but also the ambience of small-town families and a peculiar live-and-let-live attitude that comes with people being simultaneously crammed together and kept apart.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is normally a book I would not have been interested in in the past, preferring historical fiction usually well before the two great wars. Read morePublished 1 month ago by K. Leask
One of the best books I've read in years. Inspired character study of a tormented woman that made me cry.Published 14 months ago by Cookie
Loved the book, could not wait to read what Kate would do nextPublished 14 months ago by Ruth Ann Benedict
The book itself is excellent. This copy had a moldy odor. Arrived on time though.Published 18 months ago by KYM GRANT
AN ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT NOVEL DELIVERED IN PERFECT CONDITION!
THE STORY LINE IS FRESH AND EXCITING; THE PLOT, HUMAN AND I COULD DEFINITELY RELATE...
I had Reynolds Price's novel "Kate Vaiden" (1984) in mind for a long time before finally being persuaded to read it by R.M. Peterson's fine review here on Amazon. Read morePublished on November 4, 2011 by Robin Friedman
According to the cover of my edition of KATE VAIDEN, it won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction in 1986. Read morePublished on August 1, 2011 by R. M. Peterson