Reynolds Price and Me: The Tale of Two Rhodes Scholars

Part Two
Guest Post

By Casey N. Cep

Continued from yesterday.

 Years passed and fewer and fewer folks compared me to Reynolds Price, but I found myself returning to his work in 2011, the year he died. Price passed in January and that summer I served as hospital chaplain.  Within a week of starting at the hospital, I went looking for one of Price’s books. After A Palpable God, Price had mostly left religion alone, writing novels, stories, plays, and even a little advertising copy.

While his characters experienced spirituality and interrogated belief, Price himself went years before wrestling with his own angels. He called the ordeal that returned his pen to matters of faith “a mid-life collision with cancer and paralysis.” [Read more...]

Reynolds Price and Me: The Tale of Two Rhodes Scholars

Part One
Guest Post

By Casey N. Cep

Fifty years ago Reynolds Price slithered onto the American literary scene. “Just with his body and from inside like a snake,” Wesley Beavers drove his motorcycle and his girlfriend Rosacoke Mustian into the 189-word sentence that opens A Long and Happy Life.

The title of Price’s first novel was prescient for an author whose career spanned five decades and left us with forty books of essays, plays, poetry, stories, and translations. Born in the thick of the Great Depression, Price grew up in a small town in North Carolina named for an old Republican Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. He went from Macon to Duke University, and then left Durham for three years at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. [Read more...]


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