By Reynolds Price
(Scribner, Hardcover, 9780689121104, 288pp.)
Publication Date: May 1991
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Reynolds Price's long and distinguished career has been remarkable both for his virtuosity and for the variety of forms he has embraced -- novels, stories, poems, essays, translations and plays. Now one of America's most respected and accomplished men of letters brings his formidable talents to bear on the long story, a form of novelistic scope and poetic intensity.
In the three stories that comprise The Foreseeable Future, we encounter some of Price's most arresting and moving characters, set against large vistas, namely the future, its banquet of promises and terrifying consequences. For Kayes Paschal in "The Fare to the Moon" this means leaving the black woman he loves -- and for whom he has already left his wife and son -- as he is called off to World War II ("Forget about Hitler and the wide Pacific, I could die this minute in full possession of all I hoped to find in life, whoever I hurt"). In the title story, for Whit Wade -- returning severely wounded from that same war and "dead" a long year afterwards -- it will mean unearthing his life again, and all its possibilities, among his family and the people he loves. And for Dean Walker -- loyal father and son, football coach and troubled young husband, the protagonist of "Back Before Day" -- the most important hours of his life till now will occur one hectic night before dawn breaks on a day that will be unlike any other in the knowledge and promise it brings.
Generous, wise, rich with the details of very human lives, The Foreseeable Future is proof again of Reynolds Price's mastery and vision.
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.