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Ardent Spirits

Ardent Spirits

Leaving Home, Coming Back

After two earlier autobiographical works—Clear Pictures and A Whole New Life—acclaimed writer Reynolds Price offers a full account of his life from the mid-1950s to the publication of his first novel in 1962.

Oxford University and Britain—which had scarcely recovered from the severe demands of World War II—were places of enormous vitality for Price, both academic and personal. From spotting J. R. R. Tolkien on the street in Oxford to intimate dinners with W. H. Auden and Stephen Spender, young Price was welcomed into the company of the most respected intellectual and artistic circles. Fully entrenched in the culture of his era, Price unfailingly makes clear the connections between his experience and the great tradition of world literature.

In lucid and frequently witty prose, Price offers full access to six years in the early adulthood of a rich life—“a gallery of portraits and sexual discovery” (The Weekly Standard ) and part of the great train of human accomplishment in which Price so ardently believed.
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  • Scribner | 
  • 416 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743291903 | 
  • May 2012
List Price $29.99

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About the Author

Reynolds Price
Photo Credit: Sara Barrett

Reynolds Price

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.

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