Having given voice in previous novels to the extraordinary Kate Vaiden, Blue Calhoun, and Roxanna Slade, Reynolds Price -- one of America's most respected men of letters -- adds Noble Norfleet to his gallery of compelling portraits. A few days before Noble Norfleet's eighteenth birthday, his family suffers a violent catastrophe. The sole survivor, Noble throws himself into a reckless affair with his Spanish teacher, whose husband is fighting in Vietnam. When Noble graduates, he enlists as well and, while serving as an army medic, experiences a mysterious vision that seems tied to uncanny events in his recent past. Not until thirty years later -- after a life short on friends and troubled by a compulsion to worship women's bodies -- is Noble challenged to rethink the decades-old mystery of his family tragedy. Faced with an ominous choice, Noble finally comes to accept an enormous duty he's long tried to ignore. Soon, perhaps for the first time, his future seems hopeful.
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.
USA Today There's a tug between wanting to finish it and not wanting it to end. It's that good.
Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionNoble Norfleet burns with the steady flame of its author's considerable imaginative energy...[an] absorbing novel.
David Finkle San Francisco Chronicle Reynolds Price...insists on celebrating humanity, no matter how quirky. Noble Norfleet is his latest hard-nosed, warm-hearted endorsement.
Independent Weekly Reynolds Price considers the questions of how we go about fulfilling our hunger for direction, for connectedness, for God, and comes up, fittingly, with a new testament of love, faith and forgiveness.