An Unfinished Memoir
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
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In her foreword, Anne Tyler calls Reynolds Price “an exclamation point in a landscape of mostly declarative sentences.” When Price died in 2011, he left behind a final manuscript—two hundred candid, heartrending, and marvelously written pages about a critical period in his young adulthood. Approaching thirty, Price writes, is to face the notion that “This is it. I’m now the person I’m likely to be.” Midstream details the final youthful adventures of a man on the cusp of artistic acclaim. Here, Price chases a doomed love to England, only to meet heartbreak. Determined to pursue other pleasures, Price journeys to Rome with poet Stephen Spender, sharing an afternoon with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Price finds company in New York with a group of artists as he awaits the publication of his first novel, and, back in North Carolina, he begins his illustrious career at Duke, which would span a half century. Midstream is a fitting bookend for Price’s remarkable career, and it reinforces his place in the pantheon of American literature.
Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1941 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. This is her 17th novel. Her 11th, Breathing Lessons, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. A member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, she lives in Baltimore, Maryland.