Roxanna begins her story on her twentieth birthday -- a day that introduces her to the harsh realities of adulthood and changes the course of her life forever. From this day on, Roxanna is quick to share with the reader the intimate details of ninety years of life in North Carolina. Her beguiling tale is one that boldly reflects the high and low moments in the development of the modern South and the nation as well as the inner strength of a woman possessed of a piercingly clear vision, forthright hungers and immense vitality.
Author Reynolds Price Offers These Words of Wisdom to Readers
Read an Excerpt
Every time somebody calls me a saint, I repeat my name and tell them no saint was ever named Roxy. They know of course I was seldom called Roxy, though back in my childhood I tried to persuade my family to call me Roxy instead of the Anna which everybody chose but my brother Ferny. He'd call me Rox at least half the time and was my big favorite. For practical purposes Anna Dane was my maiden name, I never enjoyed it. Even now after so long it has never seemed to be me. Roxanna means Dawn or Daybreak which is fine, but my family never called anybody by their whole name.
So through the years I've consulted several... see more
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Book Cover Image (jpg): Roxanna Slade
Trade Paperback 9780684853734(0.3 MB)
Author Photo (jpg): Reynolds Price
Photo Credit: Sara Barrett(0.1 MB)
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Reading Group Guide
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
- Discuss how Reynolds Price captures the voice of Roxanna Slade through his economical, yet expressive use of language; his ability, as a man, to recreate the voice and manner of a woman from a wholly different time; and RoxannaÕs use of anecdotes, tangents, and colorful phraseology. Identify other ways in which Price makes Roxanna's story so authentic, it is easy to forget it's fiction.
- Roxanna only knew Larkin for a few hours, yet she feels disloyal to him in marrying Palmer. Why is Roxanna so devoted to the memory of someone she knew so briefly? Do you think it's possible to form a more lasting bond with one person in a single day than you can form with another over the course of a lifetime? In the end, who was a more important influence on Roxanna's life: Larkin or Palmer? Discuss the different ways in which each one touched Roxanna's life.
- Compare the attitudes and character of Roxanna's mother, Muddie, to Olivia Slade. Who had a stronger hand in shaping the woman Roxanna becomes? Who do you think Roxanna respects more? What does Olivia teach Roxanna that she can not learn from her mother?
- Roxanna begins her story by asserting that she is by no means a saint. But later she says, "a saint by most folks' meaning is just a person who never blocks your path but grins and yields to your will." (106) Do you agree? By that definition, is Roxanna Slade a saint? Why or wh