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Duke Professor to Be Honored for 50 Years of Teaching

Posted January 10, 2008

 Duke University
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— Reynolds Price, James B. Duke Professor of English and a writer of fiction, poetry, memoirs, essays and plays, will be honored for 50 years of teaching at Duke University with a celebration Jan. 31-Feb. 2.

Nobel Prize-winning writer Toni Morrison, television host Charlie Rose and literary theorist and legal scholar Stanley Fish will take part in the event, which includes video presentations, performances, interviews, panels and readings.

A native of North Carolina and a 1955 summa cum laude graduate of Duke, Price was a Rhodes Scholar and studied in Oxford, England, with W.H. Auden and Lord David Cecil. He returned to the United States and began teaching at Duke in 1958.

In 1962, his novel “A Long and Happy Life” received the William Faulkner Award for a notable first novel and has never been out of print. Price has published numerous books since then, including the novel “Kate Vaiden,” which received the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1986.

Price has written volumes of stories, poems, plays, essays and two memoirs, including “A Whole New Life,” which is his account of surviving spinal cancer. He also has published translations from the Old and New Testaments, a children’s novel and a book of essays that were broadcast on National Public Radio.

The three-day celebration is open to the public, but visitors must register for all events except Morrison’s appearance at Duke Chapel at 11 a.m. Feb. 2. Morrison’s appearance is free and open to the public; seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

A $50 fee is required to register for the other events. Full information, including a schedule of events, is online. The registration deadline is Jan. 23.

Duke students may attend all events for free, though space is limited.

There also will be a special exhibit honoring Price in Perkins Library from Jan. 15 to March 1.

“Reynolds Price: A Long and Happy Life” will include displays on his life and career, an audio installation of some of his NPR commentaries and original manuscripts and printed works from the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke and from Price’s papers that focus on his writing process and development as an author.


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