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Reynolds Price

Reynolds Price

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Reporting from Raleigh, N.C.

-- Spring is impossibly verdant in Raleigh, so lush it's steamy.

The path to the door of Reynolds Price's house in the woods is scattered with beechnuts.

Tree frogs babble, the screen door slams, somewhere in the pond outside the kitchen an old snapping turtle raises its head.

It's hard not to think of the song "Copperline" which Price wrote with his friend and fellow North Carolinian, James Taylor.

Price, 76, is North Carolina born and bred.

He's lived in this house for 51 years, the same amount of time he's taught at his alma mater, Duke.

And yet, on this Southern spring afternoon, Price is arguing, with more than a hint of a North Carolina accent, against the idea of regionalism or any kind of literary niche.

"I'm an American writer, for God's sake," he says.

To him, it seems, categorizing authors according to identity labels (Southern, Western, gay, female) amounts to a kind of literary racism.,0,1843185.story
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