Papers of Reynolds Price (1853-1986 [Bulk: 1978-1986]) documenting the life and literary career of the prolific Macon, North Carolina-born American poet, novelist, dramatist, essayist, and educator at Duke University; consisting of manuscripts, loose manuscripts transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection relating mainly to his publications A Common Room (1954), Mustian (1983), Private Contentment (1984), and to Reynolds Price: A Bibliography, 1949-1984 (1986), compiled by Stuart Wright; also photographic prints; proofs of works Price reviewed for publishers; and printed materials and oversized materials.
While teaching at Duke, Price's writing flourished. He authored 38 novels, short stories and memoirs. His first novel, A Long and Happy Life (1962), earned him the William Faulkner Foundation Award (1963). In 1984 Price learned that he had a tumor on his spine. After undergoing surgery and radiation, the tumor went away but left him a paraplegic for the rest of his life. The experience and the continuing pain and paralysis, had a profound impact on both his personal life and his literary career. Reportedly, he became more patient and observant as a man and more prolific as a writer. Price remained single and life alone by choice. He was also openly homosexual having his first affair with British writer Stephen Spender, during a visit to Spender's home during Christmas 1957. On 20 January 2011 at the age of 77, Reynolds Price died from complications from a heart attack.
"Reynolds Price." [Biographical Sketch] Wikipedia. Accessed 9 November 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reynolds_Price.
"Reynolds Price." [Biographical Sketch] Gale Literature Resource Center. Accessed 11 November 2016. http://go.galegroup.com/ps/aboutJournal.do?contentModuleId=LitRC&resultClickType=AboutThisPublication&actionString=DO_DISPLAY_ABOUT_PAGE&searchType=BasicSearchForm&docId=GALE%7C5LIG&userGroupName=ncliveecu&inPS=true&rcDocId=GALE%7CH1200000453&prodId=LitRC&pubDate=119780000.
Reynolds Price Papers, 1927-2010 and undated, bulk 1956-2006.Rubenstein Library, Duke University, Durham, NC. http://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/findingaids/pricereynolds/
Author: Jonathan Dembo, with the assistance of John Leche, 11/14/2016, 3/16/2017.
In the fall of 1966, Wright enrolled at Wake Forest University as a pre-med, history, German and music student. Wright earned a B.A. in German and music in 1970. As a graduate student at Wake Forest University, Wright focused his studies on Southern history and literature, his ambition being to build an authoritative Southern Studies collection for the university. He received a master's degree in Southern Studies in 1973 and a second master's degree in U.S. History in 1980. Additionally Wright holds a professional degree from England in a medically related field. It was while studying there that he became interested in Thomas Wolfe, the noted North Carolina native and novelist.
Following his graduation from Wake Forest, Wright began to develop his collections more systematically, acquiring many first editions of Southern writers. In 1976 he began teaching at Reynolda House, a Wake Forest University affiliate dedicated to the arts and arts education. Wright taught classes in American music as well as human anatomy for art students. In 1978 Wright became Lecturer in Education at Wake Forest University. During his 10 years teaching at Wake Forest University, Wright authored numerous works of Civil War and North Carolina history, and dozens of articles, bibliographies, essays and reviews on Southern literature and the writers whose papers he collected. In addition, he developed a strong interest in the writings of the English poet Donald Davie and the Minnesota-born poet Richard Eberhart, whose works he also collected.
At the same time, Wright also began a career as a publisher by starting Palaemon Press in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. By 1984, Palaemon Press had produced 316 titles, consisting mainly of broadsides and limited editions, of the poetry and essays of such Southern writers as A. R. Ammons, Fred Chappell, James Dickey, William Goyen, George Garrett, and Eudora Welty. He also built comprehensive collections and compiled book-length descriptive bibliographies of A.R. Ammons, Andrew Lytle, Reynolds Price, James Dickey, William Goyen, Walker Percy, Randall Jarrell, Peter Taylor, George Garrett, Richard Eberhart, and Donald Davie. As well as serving as editor of the contemporary literature section of the Bulletin of Bibliography throughout the 1980s, Wright also contributed pioneering checklists of the writings of Southern poets Henry Taylor, Charles Wright, and Robert Morgan. For Meckler Publishing he served as series editor for a number of book-length bibliographies and checklists. In recognition of these accomplishments, when he was just 32, Wright was elected to membership in New York's prestigious Grolier Club.
All of these works are represented in the Stuart Wright Collection. In his dealings with these various authors Wright made consistent efforts to acquire personal papers, letters and documents, photographs, manuscripts, drafts, proofs, and published materials to supplement his continuing activities as a purchaser of their works. In this way, Wright acquired perhaps a majority of his overall collection. Over the years a number of biographers used Wright's collection to aid their research. For example, James A. Grimshaw, Jr. used the collection extensively for his Robert Penn Warren: A Descriptive Bibliography, 1922-1979 published by the University Press of Virginia, in 1981 and Craig S. Abbott did so as well for John Crowe Ransom: A Descriptive Bibliography, published by Whitston Publishing Company, Inc. in 1999. Joseph Blotner also used the Wright collection in researching Robert Penn Warren: A Biography, published by Random House in 1997.
Nevertheless, from the mid- to late 1980s, Wright began to look for a permanent home for his collection, which he felt had grown too large and yet had been too little used. Unable to find a repository willing to accept the entire collection under suitable conditions, he sold a number of individual author collections to Vanderbilt University, Duke University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Emory University. It was not until 2010 that he reached agreement to house the remaining, and largest part of his collection at East Carolina University. The Stuart Wright Collection in the East Carolina Manuscript Collection of J.Y. Joyner Library includes 106 sub-collections of the papers of Southern American writers, illustrators, composers, and publishers. The related Stuart Wright Book Collection holds several thousand volumes by or about many of the same writers. Many of these volumes contain annotations, inscriptions, and insertions that reveal much about the authors in the collection and their relationships with one another. In 1998 Wright moved to England, and since 2001 he has resided in the medieval market town of Ludlow, in Shropshire.
Author: Jonathan Dembo, 11/2/2016
Stuart Wright Collection: Reynolds Price Papers (#1169-072) are arranged original order in 2 series.
Series 1: Cary Addition #1 to the Stuart Wright Collection, consist of papers (1853-1986 [Bulk: 1978-1986) documenting the life and literary career of Reynolds Price (1933-2011), the prolific American poet, novelist, dramatist, essayist, and educator at Duke University; consisting of manuscripts, loose manuscripts transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection relating mainly to his publications A Common Room,Mustian,Private Contentment; also photographic prints; proofs of works Price reviewed for publishers; also printed materials and oversized materials. Source: Cary Addition Boxes #086.009, 086.010, 102.005, 104.053, 104,054, 105.057, 107.001, 107.005, 113.000, 131.000, 135.000, 136.007, 136.017, 143.018, 145.000, 147.000, 149.000, 150.004, 150.006, 156.003, 156.007, 159.038, 159.042. Series 1 is housed in Box 1.a-5.a, os.1
Series 2: Ludlow Addition #2 to the Stuart Wright Collection, consist of papers (1973-1986) documenting the life and literary career of Reynolds Price (1933-2011), the prolific American poet, novelist, dramatist, essayist, and educator at Duke University; consisting of loose manuscripts transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection relating mainly to Reynolds Price: A Bibliography, 1949-1984, by Stuart Wright. Source: Cary Addition Boxes #180.025. Series 2 is housed in Box 5.b.
Purchased from Stuart Wright, 10/27/2011, 7/20/2012
Processing, Preliminary inventory & Container List, by Jonathan Dembo, with the assistance of Nathaniel King & Jay Colin Menees, 2/17/2016, 3/29/2016, 8/29/2016; Final inventory by Jonathan Dembo, 8/29/2016; Finding aid by Jonathan Dembo, 9/27/2016; Biographical Sketch, by Jonathan Dembo with the assistance of Dale Wetterhahn & John Leche, 4/28/2016, 8/11/2016, 11/29/2016, rev. 2/13/2017; Encoding revised by Jonathan Dembo, 2/13/2017, 3/16/2017.
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.
Reynolds Price Papers, 1927-2010 and undated, bulk 1956-2006, Rubenstein Library, Duke University, Durham, NC USA