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  • Writer's pictureTrish Perry

Classic, Rich Southern Fiction: Why I Recommend Roxanna Slade

Updated: Feb 28

Cover of Roxanna Slide by Reynolds Price

“I have to admit Major studied me slowly with those eyes that would scare most grown grave-hearted men. They were keen big eyes but pickled in brandy, long years of homemade brandy strong enough to embalm any pharaoh.”

I often stopped while reading Roxanna Slade so I could share with others prose like that above. This book, published back in 1998, is not a quick read, but it’s a beautiful one. I have always struggled to fully embrace poetry, but author Reynolds Price puts his poetic talent to efficient and stirring use here. Through Roxanna he subtly addresses social issues that are crammed down our throats these days. Not a bit of preaching happens, and the book is stronger for it. He shows so much respect for his characters and for his readers. I’m sorry to see he’s no longer with us.

I’ve read reviews that say Price’s Kate Vaiden is the better book, which excites me, because I own it and will get to it eventually. For now I want to reflect back on Roxanna’s life and how such a simple human could impart so much wise strength and honest vulnerability.

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