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“These Extraordinary Price Brothers”

Friday from the Archives: “A Glimpse of these ‘Extraordinary Price Brothers’: James W. Clark interviews William S. Price” excerpt, from NCLR Online 2016.

We look forward to next July, and celebrating Disability Awareness Month with our 2024 print issue featuring “Disability (in) NC Literature,” edited by Guest Features Editor Casey Kayser.

In the meantime, we share this other excerpt about Reynolds Price, author and Duke professor. Jim Clark interviewed Reynolds’ brother William. “When distinguished historian H.G. Jones heard about our plan, he stated: “I have been unable to think of another pair of siblings that reach the prominence in North Carolina’s literary/historical heritage as do Reynolds Price and William S. Price, Jr.” At the time of writing, William Price was Director Emeritus of the North Carolina Division of Archives and History; Clark an English Professor Emeritus at North Carolina State University.

Both Price brothers were also professors, sharing teaching techniques between them. William remarked, “We did sometimes discuss our approaches in the classroom, and I was very taken by a device he developed once he started teaching his writing seminars and classes, about actually participating with the students in whatever the assignment was.” He said the students enjoyed watching their professors work on the same material they were: rather than competition, it was creative inspiration. Perhaps this may be a way for professors Teaching NC Literature to both teach and submit for our pedagogical collection?

Perhaps not surprising for someone who spent a significant portion of their life in a wheelchair, “Reynolds is simply one of the most engaging conversationalists ever, even more so in private than he was in public,” William reminisced. “In fact, I don’t think he comes across on TV all that well, but so many people were
drawn to Reynolds just for the sheer pleasure of his company and for being able to watch the wheels turn in that mind.” Thirty-eight pieces of published work and countless students influenced over his time teaching at Duke University attest to those wheels.

Read the entire excerpt in the 2016 Online issue.