The concluding paragraphs of the Southern writer’s obituary in last weeks NY Times were pretty striking:
The undercurrent of Christian charity evident in Mr. Price’s previous work became even more pronounced in these and later novels, like “Roxanna Slade” (1998) and “The Good Priest’s Son” (2005), in which fallible characters face momentous moral choices. The deepening moral tinge, which some critics found too schematic, was rooted in Mr. Price’s Christian faith: he was an unorthodox, non-churchgoing believer.
“The whole point of learning about the human race presumably is to give it mercy,” he told The Georgia Review in 1993.
If Mr. Price shook off the burden of Faulkner, his work remained elusive despite its strong regional flavor and commitment to “the weight and worth of the ordinary,” as the novelist Janet Burroway once put it. Mr. Price himself ventured a succinct appraisal for The Southern Review in 1978: “It seems to me they are books about human freedom — the limits thereof, the possibilities thereof, the impossibilities thereof.”