A Singular Family
Rosacoke and Her Kin
By Reynolds Price
(Scribner, Paperback, 9780684851884, 640pp.)
Publication Date: April 14, 1999
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FOR THE FIRST TIME, THE ENTIRE MUSTIAN CYCLE IN ONE VOLUME, WITH A PREFACE BY THE AUTHOR
Rosacoke Mustian initially "stood up, live from her first paragraph" in one of Reynolds Price's earliest short stories, "A Chain of Love," and Price made the beginning of her life with Wesley Beavers the subject of his dazzling first novel, A Long and Happy Life. Eventually, Price spent two more novels, A Generous Man and Good Hearts, with this single family, telling a story of devotion and endurance that is now the hallmark of one of the most illustrious careers in American letters.
Reynolds Price (1933-2011) was born in Macon, North Carolina. Educated at Duke University and, as a Rhodes Scholar, at Merton College, Oxford University, he taught at Duke beginning in 1958 and was the James B. Duke Professor of English at the time of his death. 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.
The New York Times Book Review
A chronicler of decency, pluck and joy, in novel after novel [Price] has given us the weight and worth of the ordinary.
Eudora Welty Reynolds Price is the most impressive new writer I've come across in a long time.
Dorothy Parker Esquire Meticulously observed, beautifully told...it is indeed a lasting novel...a lovely novel, with the firm brilliance of its writing to keep its loveliness from sticking to your fingers.
William Hogan San Francisco Chronicle Lively, lusty, affectionate, preposterous, entertaining and well done.
The Washington Post At the end, the reader has the sense that all has been resolved and explained as well as may be in a universe that, if full of mysteries, still makes fundamental sense....Delightful and thought-provoking.