Cancer Episode A friend was walking with Reynolds Price in 1984 and he asked him why he slapped his foot against the ground. Curious at the reason, Reynolds Price went to the doctor. In 1984, it was learned that Reynolds Price had an astocytoma or spinal tumor. It was also believed to have been with him his whole life, but his body had adapted to it's growth prior. After many surgical attempts he survived, but he lost the use of his legs.
In a wheelchair now, he has continued to produce masterful works.
Reynolds Price's work changed after his cancer bout. I feel that it became more real, focusing more on the reality that death brings. One thing that I asked Reynolds Price when I first met him was why he sped up his writing production. Now he publishes at least one book a year. He said he had a lot more time, that is very true. When I look at his work before 1984 and then after 1986, they seem to be written from two different points of view. He has said that he had to reinvent himself, and I can see that he has done just that.
Personal Account:The first time I met Reynolds Price in person was Wednesday, October 29, 1997 at the Avid Reader in Chapel Hill. I had long enjoyed his works, but meeting him in person made concrete my desire to become a writer. He was wonderful and answered all my questions about his works and his writing style. I told him, as I still believe, that Promise of Rest is one of his greatest works ever. I had never read the preceding two novels in the trilogy when reading this for the first time and even after reading the two stories that led up to Promise, it still remains my favorite novel and can well serve as a stand-alone novel in its own right. His religious interpretations, alone, would have put this man in a class by himself. The Time article he did "Jesus at 2000" was one of the first times I'd read a southern man speak of a biblical interpretation so closely to what I believed. I've included the link to the download for this article in the links section. If you haven't read it yet, make sure you do immediately.
If you have any questions please email me at kimberlyFDR@yahoo.com I love to talk about this man's great work and lead you to resources that will aid you in your research of him. Please let me know if any links are broken or if you would like to see a link included.