Midstream: An Unfinished Memoir by Reynolds Price
When Price died in 2011, he left behind a final manuscript - two hundred candid, heartrending, and marvellously written pages about a critical period in his young adulthood. Approaching thirty, Price writes, is to face the notion that "This it it. I'm now the person I'm likely to be." Midstream details the final youthful adventures of a man on the cusp of artistic acclaim. Here, Price chases a doomed love to England, only to meet heartbreak. Determined to pursue other pleasures, Price journeys to Rome with poet Stephen Spender, sharing an afternoon with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Price finds company in New York with a group of artists as he awaits the publication of his first novel, and, back in North Carolina he begins his illustrious career at Duke, which would span a half century. Midstream is a fitting bookend for Price's remarkable career, and it reinforces his place in the pantheon of American literature.