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. 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.
An important voice of the American South, with a distinguished career as the author of fiction, poetry, plays, essays, and other nonfiction, Price (English, Duke Univ.; Kate Vaiden) died in 2011. Before his death, he had completed two-thirds of this memoir, his fourth, following Ardent Spirits (2009). Covering the years from 1961 to1965, Price begins when, approaching age 30, he returns to Oxford for a fourth year (he was there as a Rhodes Scholar), hoping to reunite with a former lover. The memoir ends with his buying a house and returning to teach at Duke after his mother's death. Of particular interest is his stage-struck account of a meeting with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton when they were filming Cleopatra, as well as his friendships with Samuel Barber and Stephen Spender. Verdict Although parts of the book read as a diary with rough entries about dinners with friends and important artists, toward the end we see the young Price emerge as a sensitive, thoughtful writer at the threshold of his adult career. Price's fans and lovers of memoir will appreciate this book.-Nancy R. Ives, SUNY Geneseo (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
"[Price] generated a small handful of these wondrous little memoirs, capturing some glint of himself in each like fireflies in a glass. Midstream is the last flicker of that self readers will ever get; they should treasure it."--Open Letters Monthly "This is the giddy, glowing and poignant page-turner of an American master's life."--Minneapolis Star-Tribune "From the start Price limned the worthiest people otherwise-ignored.... Reynolds had been born some kind of prodigy. And, for all that luck granted him---and that poor health seemed to later withdraw--- he remained precocious a full seventy-seven years."--Allan Gurganus "His beautiful books, his tremendous productivity, his spirituality and cheerfulness, his abiding friendships--all these generous traits and dynamic accomplishments have characterized Reynolds Price."--Edmund White, The New York Review of Books