Reynolds Price, one of America's most distinguished and honored writers, has produced such masterpieces as Noble Norfleet, Roxanna Slade, and Kate Vaiden, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. Now in The Good Priest's Son, his fourteenth novel and thirty-sixth book, Price gives us another penetrating study -- full-length portraits of five arresting characters. On September 11, 2001, Mabry Kincaid -- a fiftyish art conservator -- is flying home after a much-needed rest in Rome and Paris. Halfway across the Atlantic, his plane is diverted from New York to Nova Scotia. Two days later, when the United States has recovered sufficiently from the attack on the World Trade Center, Mabry discovers that his downtown New York loft is uninhabitable. He flies south to North Carolina instead to visit his aged father. A widowed Episcopal priest, Tasker Kincaid has been injured in a recent fall and is cared for by live-in Audrey Thornton, an African-American divinity student at Duke University, and her grown son, Marcus, an ambitious painter. During a week in North Carolina -- with help from his cantankerous father, from Audrey and Marcus and from Gwyn Williams, an old flame -- Mabry is compelled to explore his tormented relationship with his father and with a world that still harbors much that he's loved but has long since abandoned. On his return to New York -- and in a swift and unexpected return to the south -- Mabry must deal with the near-ruin of his loft, with haunting memories of his infidelities to his recently deceased wife, with the end of his childhood family, the uncertainty of his professional career, the ambivalence of his adult daughter, and with a daunting likelihood that is terrifyingly at work inside his body. Reynolds Price writes at peak form in this lean and masterful, comic yet profoundly moving novel -- one that unfolds the stages of one man's hope for ransom in old familiar worlds that are now forever changed.
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.
"A major work from one of our greatest novelists." -- Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird
"Reynolds Price has steadily built one of the most durable, enviable bodies of work in all Southern literature." -- The Washington Times
"Writing with depth and sustained honesty . . . Reynolds Price gives us an enormous gift: a way to see and understand our own selves in a world forever changed." -- Sue Monk Kidd, author of The Mermaid Chair and The Secret Life of Bees
"Reynolds Price's seriousness of purpose remains undeniable. He is a writer who addresses life's urgent questions through characters much like ourselves -- fallible, frightened, lonely, seeking comfort, and sometimes even redemption, in the maelstrom." -- The New York Times Book Review