North Carolina-born author, graduated from Duke and has taught there, after a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford. His fiction, set in his native state, includes A Long and Happy Life (1962) and A Generous Man (1963), both concerning a small-town North Carolina family, reissued in Mustian (1983); Love and Work (1968), about a young teacher-novelist's problems with marriage and writing; The Surface of the Earth (1975), presenting the saga of rural Virginia and North Carolina families during the first 40 years of this century, continued in The Source of Light (1981), concentrating on a grandson studying at Oxford in the 1960s until called back to his ancestral home. The Names and Faces of Heroes (1963) and Permanent Errors (1970) print stories. Things Themselves (1972) collects personal and critical essays. A Palpable God (1978) is an essay on and a translation of Biblical stories. Early Dark (1977) dramatizes his first novel. Vital Provisions (1982) is a volume of poems.