A Whole New Life: An Illness and a Healing

Front Cover
In 1984 a large cancer was discovered in Reynolds Price's spinal cord. Here he recounts without self-pity what became a long struggle to withstand and recover from this appalling, if all too common, affliction. He charts the first puzzling symptoms; the urgent surgery that fails to remove the growth and radiation that temporarily arrests it; the trials of rehab; the steady rise of severe pain and reliance on drugs; the sustaining force of a certain religious vision; the discovery of help from biofeedback and hypnosis; and the miraculous return of his powers as a writer in a new, active life.
Beyond the particulars of pain and illness, Price tells of his determination to get on with human interaction, the gratitude he feels toward kin and friends and some (though by no means all) doctors, and the return to his prolific work.
More than the portrait of one brave person in tribulation, A Whole New Life offers honest insight, realistic encouragement, and inspiration to others who suffer the bafflement of catastrophic illness or know someone who does or will.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TimBazzett - LibraryThing

Reynolds Price died just ten days ago, a sad occasion that prompted me to finally pick up and read his 1994 memoir, A WHOLE NEW LIFE. I'd been a Price reader since my college days when, in 1969, I ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MarthaHuntley - LibraryThing

This is an achingly painful memoir of North Carolina writer Reynolds Price's life and death/health and wholeness issues between 1984 and 1994. From a dragging foot to finding a 10 inch long malignant ... Read full review


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3

8 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1994)

Reynolds Price (February 1, 1933 - January 20, 2011), born Edward Reynolds Price in Macon, North Carolina, was an American poet, novelist, dramatist, essayist and James B. Duke Professor of English at Duke University. After graduating from Duke University in 1955, he won a Rhodes scholarship to study at Oxford University. Despite being living as a paraplegic after receiving radiation treatment for a spinal tumor since the mid-1980s, he produced approximately one book a year. His first novel, A Long and Happy Life (1962) won the William Faulkner Award. His other works include The Names and Faces of Heroes, Clear Pictures: First Loves, First Guides, A Whole New Life, and The Good Priest's Son. Kate Vaiden won the National Books Critics Circle Award. His plays have been produced on stage and on PBS's American Playhouse. He died due to complications of a heart attack on January 20, 2011 at the age of 77.

Bibliographic information