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Clear Pictures: First Loves First Guides

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  67 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Reynolds Price, novelist, poet, playwright and essayist, author of the bestseller Kate Vaiden and the recent Roxanna Slade, is one of the most accomplished writers ever to come out of the South. He is an author rooted in its old life and ways; and this is his vivid, powerful memoir of his first twenty-one years growing up in North Carolina. Spanning the years from 1933 to ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 5th 2009 by Scribner (first published 1989)
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Larry Bassett
I have moved to Virginia twice in my life. So far. Once when I was in my 30s and once when I was in my 50s. First time it was so my wife could take a job at Radford College. Second time was so my daughter could safely ride her bike on the Blackwater Creek Trail rather than across the six lane intersection of Colesville Road and Georgia Avenue. Now, we are not talking Northern Virginia here. We’re talking part of what some people call the Bible Belt. Fundamentalist, born again Christians. Friendl ...more
Oct 11, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I give it 2 stars because it held my interest for the first 100 pages. I found this book largely self-serving and boggy.

I like memoirs. If you like memoirs, read This Boy's Life, by Tobias Wolff. Or read Stop-Time by Frank Conroy. Glass Castle is a great one, by Jeanette Walls. If you have enjoyed anything by either Andre Dubus (father or son), then I highly recommend Townie, by Andre Dubus III.
Apr 04, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
Like a Sunday afternoon sitting around listening to the grownups talk... you only get all the details after listening again and again over time. It's a book I will reread and enjoy more of each time. It is rich in detail of the genteel white gentry of the Jim Crow South. In between the lines of his matter-of-fact writing style is a heartbreaking portrayal of the wear and tear of segregation on the human spirit. Yet that, as everything else, is but an aside in the onward march of Price's autobiog ...more
Jun 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mfa
Writing a memoir on childhood memories is not for the faint of heart. Price does it eloquently. He writes about his parents family history like how they met, their separate lives, etc. along with his first memories of home. He writes about being three (father, mother, son) then changing into four with the addition of his little brother.
Jan 30, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a similar vein I am reading Reynolds Price Clear Pictures: First Loves, First Guides (New York: Atheneum, 1989). Like Mendelsohn's search to map desire, Reynolds book is an attempt to pay tribute to his own development as a writer and to a less degree as a gay man.
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Jan 31, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A leisurely, thoughtful, detailed and probing memoir of Price's life. Uniquely Southern, he touches on all those people whose lives made a lasting impact on his own life -- parents, teachers, relatives, in particular.

His understanding and analysis of the relations between Southern whites and blacks is well worth reading, giving insight into the shared blindness and guilt in whites' acceptance of separate but very unequal lives.
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Reynolds Price was born in Macon, North Carolina in 1933. Educated at Duke University and, as a Rhodes Scholar, at Merton College, Oxford University. He taught at Duke since 1958 and was James B. Duke Professor of English.

His first short stories, and many later ones, are published in his Collected Stories. A Long and Happy Life was published in 1962 and won the William Faulkner Award for a best fi
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