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The fourth and final memoir from Reynolds Price, "one of the most important voices in modern southern fiction" ( The New York Times), who died in January 2011.Reynolds Price was a true renaissance man. Author of thirty-seven books and professor of English at Duke, he was the last great southern regionalist of his generation. Picking up where his third memoir Ardent Spirits left off, Midstream provides an account of the years of his life from 1961-1965. During this brief period, perhaps the most leisurely of his life, Reynolds was on the cusp of adulthood, contemplating turning thirty, which, as he says, "is likely to be any man's realization that, This is it. I'm now the person I'm likely to be from here to the end." In this evocative memoir, Reynolds discusses publishing his first book, the pursuit of adult love, burying his mother, embarking on a teaching career, and buying his first home. Upon his return to Oxford, Reynolds connects with a former lover with the hopes of rekindling their relationship. Disappointed to learn that this man is soon to be married, Reynolds pursues other pleasures: he travels to Denmark for a friend's wedding; journeys through the English countryside for tea at charmed sites like Thame and Woodstock; dashes to Stratford to take in some Shakespeare; travels to Rome with famous British poet Stephen Spender, where he dines with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor; and returns for more adventures in New York before finally heading home to North Carolina to resume teaching at Duke University. In his signature spirited and witty prose, Midstream offers a poignant portrait of early adulthood. It is a fitting bookend for Price's remarkable career and reinforces his place in literary history.
Reynolds Price (1933-2011) was a former Rhodes Scholar and taught at Duke beginning in 1958 and was the James B. Duke Professor of English. His first novel, A Long and Happy Life, was published in 1962 and won the William Faulkner Award. His sixth novel, Kate Vaiden, was published in 1986 and won the National Book Critics Circle Award. The author of more than three dozen books, Price was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and his work has been translated into seventeen languages.