The history of the Mustian family begins several years earlier than the setting of A Long and Happy Life. Milo is fifteen in A Generous Man. This is available in the collection Rosacoke and Her Kin, which includes A Generous Man, A Chain of Love, A Long and Happy Life and Good Hearts. It is published by Scribner Paperback Fiction.
The story of Price’s 1984 bout with crippling spinal cancer, his interaction with the medical profession, and his recovery are examined by the author in A Whole New Life: An Illness and a Healing, published by Plume in 1995.
Many critics have pointed out the resemblance between Price’s characters and the characters of fellow Southerner Carson McCullers in her 1940 classic The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, a story about the residents of a Georgia mill town who labor under a sense of isolation.
Eudora Welty was considered one of America’s finest fiction writers, certainly one of the finest writers about Southern values and customs. She was also a friend of and collaborator with Reynolds Price. Her novels are all meticulously crafted, but readers can find echoes of A Long and Happy Life most clearly in her story “First Love,” found in Collected Stories of Eudora Welty, published in 1982 by Harvest Books.
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