Reynolds Price: A Southern Writer, A Lyrical Gift

Author Reynolds Price poses in his Durham, N.C., home June 8, 1998. Price, the author of more than 30 books, died Thursday. He taught at Duke University for more than 50 years. i i

Author Reynolds Price poses in his Durham, N.C., home June 8, 1998. Price, the author of more than 30 books, died Thursday. He taught at Duke University for more than 50 years. Grant Halverson/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Grant Halverson/AP
Author Reynolds Price poses in his Durham, N.C., home June 8, 1998. Price, the author of more than 30 books, died Thursday. He taught at Duke University for more than 50 years.

Author Reynolds Price poses in his Durham, N.C., home June 8, 1998. Price, the author of more than 30 books, died Thursday. He taught at Duke University for more than 50 years.

Grant Halverson/AP

Reynolds Price, the acclaimed writer known for his evocative novels and stories about rural North Carolina, died in Durham yesterday. He was 77.

The cause of death was complications from a heart attack. Price had been a paraplegic for more than 30 years because of spinal cancer, but he continued to write novels, essays, short stories, memoirs and translations from the Bible.

Price was recognized as a remarkable talent with the 1962 publication of his first novel, A Long and Happy Life. In his obituary in the New York Times, novelist Allan Gurganus called Price the best young writer this country has ever produced.

"He started out with a voice, a lyric gift and a sense of humor," Gurganus wrote, "and an insight about how people lived and what they'll do to get along.''

Price appeared on Fresh Air multiple times, most recently in 2006. On today's show, we remember the author with excerpts from that appearance, as well as earlier appearances in 1994 and 1989.

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