Reynolds Price: 'Writing Is a Fearsome but Grand Vocation'

Reynolds Price

"Writing is a fearsome but grand vocation--potentially healing but likewise deadly. I wouldn't trade my life for the world."

--Author Reynolds Price (from a 1991 Paris Review interview), who died yesterday at the age of 77. In his obituary, the New York Times observed that Price's "novels and stories about ordinary people in rural North Carolina struggling to find their place in the world established him as one of the most important voices in modern Southern fiction."


On his blog, Classics Rock! Books Shelved in Songs, Larry Hughes paid tribute to Price and noted one of the late author's lesser known accomplishments--his work as a lyricist. Reynolds collaborated on two songs--"Copperline" and "New Hymn" with his friend and fellow North Carolinian James Taylor. In his book Understanding Reynolds Price, James A. Schiff wrote: "Price emerged as perhaps the first significant American novelist to compose a successful Top 40 popular song."

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