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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.
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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 ›
From my perspective, KATE VAIDEN is a strong novel, well worth reading, but I don't quite see it as an award-winner. What most stands out is Kate Vaiden, who is a strong woman. (Midway through it, her worldly wise older cousin remarks, "Few people on earth are as strong as Kate Vaiden.") Kate is the voice of the novel, as it is written in the first person, telling the story of her rocky road from the time her parents were killed when she was eleven (in 1938) to the present (1984), as she battles cancer at age fifty-seven. Kate's voice is a very distinctive voice. But is it an authentic voice? That is one of the lightning-rod questions about the novel. Several female Amazon reviewers proclaim that Price's effort to write the novel from the perspective of a woman and with a woman's voice was a fraud and a failure. Yet many critics (mostly men) praised the novel for its woman's voice and perspective. As for me (a male), I believe that Kate's female PERSPECTIVE is true enough - though one thing she does in the novel (mentioned two paragraphs down) goes against the maternal instincts of most - but I don't quite find her VOICE authentic, albeit for reasons having nothing to do with male versus female.Read more ›
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 4 months ago by Katie L.
One of the best books I've read in years. Inspired character study of a tormented woman that made me cry.Published 18 months ago by Cookie
Loved the book, could not wait to read what Kate would do nextPublished 18 months ago by Ruth Ann Benedict
The book itself is excellent. This copy had a moldy odor. Arrived on time though.Published 22 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
I've been on a roll reading books by southern authors, and while visiting Charleston, SC, I was told that I had to read Kate Vaiden by Reynolds Price. Read morePublished on July 23, 2011 by Cynthia K. Robertson