A wife fakes her death to escape the most dangerous man she knows: her husband. But cruel Martin Burney discovers his wife is alive, and stalks her in a small town. A young professor there is courting her, but one night she knows her compulsively neat husband has entered her house to rearrange towels in her bath and canned goods in her kitchen. He's found her. He's out there.
A love story, a mystery, and a small town in World War II. What if you want--and deserve--revenge? Miranda is bright, funny and pretty. She loves two men who want her as much as they hate each other. The war changes all three. Miranda has a happy life, and a secret. She keeps it until no one remembers. No one knows.
The world thinks Randal Eliot writes during his manic phases, but his wife Mary creates his famous books and supports their family. When Randal dies, no one will believe she is the genius. She marries a younger man, Paul, a Randal Eliot scholar. Paul cannot bear to believe Mary is the genius—she will destroy his life work and Randal Eliot’s reputation. He has killed before. He must kill again.
When Catherine Buckingham’s parents die, her young uncle, Thorn Wade, becomes her guardian and raises her as her mother wished, so Catherine becomes an adult who is not like the men—or women—of the world around her: she is a sexual creature we seldom encounter. With innocent joy Catherine explores her amorous feelings for the man who has raised her, while Thorn will not take any male initiative by word, look or action. They keep the memory of that summer like a promise they will someday fulfill. But Thorn must leave to fight in World War II. Catherine is told he is dead, and learns, painfully, how to be like women of the 40’s and 50’s. Yet Thorn is alive, and comes to find a Catherine who is finished, accomplished. How can she face the man who formed her for another life?
Three courageous young people, one a new white slave mistress, two captured black slaves--meet on South Carolina rice plantations during the summer of 1850. Black Joan and her husband Will have been raised free, then captured. Their civilized virtues make Joan valuable as a maid in the Big House, and Will soon becomes the black slave driver. Slavery's subtle poison corrupts the three industrious, warm-hearted young people, slave mistress as well as slaves. They have no choice; they survive, even triumph, just as capable young people trapped in a sick society would survive and triumph today.
In an echo of THE GOLDEN BOWL by Henry James, a rich father and daughter unknowingly marry two lovers. But in the world of this book, the father is a ruthless Iowa businessman who has earned his name of “Bonfire” by burning down his competitor’s warehouses. His beautiful young wife loves the wealthy life he gives her, but she cannot resist her new son-in-law, and he loves her still. Their risk is deadly. Bonfire has the money and the power to stop at nothing, even murder. His daughter is dear to him. When Bonfire and his daughter discover the truth, one of them will forgive, but the other will kill.
Mary Bryant grows up in a dirt-poor Nebraska family, hungry and unwanted. Her only friends are a next-door neighbor and her little half-sister Rhody, but she has to leave them and run away to Chicago to sleep under a hedge and work as a waitress. Gunther Meyer finds her, marries her, and she’s happy in her first real home with their new baby, Maria. But one day her world explodes: she discovers her marriage to Gunther was a sham. He has a rich young woman for a wife. Mary escapes to Florida with Maria, only to find that she is being pursued by Gunther, his friend Manuel, and Gunther’s new wife. They find her at Disney’s Epcot, and Manuel forces Mary to take her baby to Mexico with him, and begs her to marry him. But he keeps her a prisoner, hiding her—why? Soon the world’s reporters are on her track—what has she done?
Short stories
Publication list of award-winning short stories and a featured selection
Publication list of award-winning poems and several featured poems
A New work of Fiction



"Kim?" It was the metallic model agency voice on the phone; Kim gave a sigh and turned over in bed. "Be at the airport at 9:20, will you? It's Florida-- Orlando. Adele Delaide's beach stuff for summer. Okay? You'll be met by Ultima Studio."

"Okay," Kim said. Florida. Snow flakes were melting on New York streets under her bedroom window. A cup of coffee, then she packed the makeup case and shoes, wigs, clothes.

She was Kim Cordelia now; she could afford a taxi, even though she had to load her cases herself, as usual. Airport magazine stands had the new Vogue with Kim's cruise ship series. Kim didn't buy a copy to look at her smiling face on the cover. The plane was on time; she went first class and slept.

"We want a 'young and carefree image,'" Adele Delaide's top man said when Kim dragged her cases upstairs to the studio. "Maybe you look too experienced." The ad agency man said "young and carefree" was dated--the real seller now was "pouty and sleepy." He argued with the stylist about what was left of a bikini. The photographer said Kim looked fat.

Kim didn't listen much; she was running herself through a check, like a computer. They told her to stand there, sit here, look sexy, thoughtful, happy, young, care- free, pouty, sleepy...Kim just posed. She knew what her knees looked like from every angle, and when to tuck her toes under and how to make a pattern of herself in space.

The male model was bronze-brown and beautiful-- he was probably local, and beach-tanned every day. If he took Kim dancing, the pair of them would look like an ad, and their conversation would sound like one, of course--an ad for him. He put his arms around Kim and told a photographer he'd met a marvelous redhead hang-gliding.

Pairs of narrowed eyes surrounded Kim Cordelia. They looked at her as if she were a woman’s shape that would set off their arrangements of ideas, like an empty vase. When she got dressed and was ready to leave, no man at the studio asked her where she was going or if she wanted company; they were still talking about "pouty and sleepy." It was always the same. When they saw the shots, they'd be satisfied, and think they'd done it all.

Kim went to her hotel, showered off the makeup, and ordered supper in her room. She totaled the money she'd made. She was going to sleep twelve hours, and the next day in Florida was hers. But when she crawled into bed, she dreamed all night of Kathy Knudsen of Lander, Missouri, before she was Kim Cordelia of New York. In every dream she was her old self: the Kathy who was shy and homely and hurt most of the time. There was no guy in highschool who cared to get acquainted with her.

What a joy to wake late for breakfast in bed, and find Kim Cordelia's face in a mirror and Florida sunshine warming her through her si1k nightgown. But dreams had made her restless, rebellious, reckless--it was company she needed, some place with crowds where she could pick and choose. Florida was out there: toyland, girl-and- boy-1and, the EPCOT Center, rubbing elbows with Disney World.

When Kim left her hotel in a taxi, she wasn't Kim Cordelia with her cool shine, her expensive gloss: she was just a beautiful young woman, casual enough for a college man, stylish enough for a young lawyer, smart enough to wear low-heeled shoes. Heads turned as she passed; men paused mid-word.

The EPCOT Center was as big as Manhattan, they said, but it was immaculate as a TV backdrop: no cigarette stubs, chipped paint, or soot--not even a dead leaf in the flower beds. Crowds poured from neatly parked cars to little trains, from trains to ticket windows. Finally they clicked through an entrance and were in the shadow of the Spaceship Earth geosphere. Walks led to great pavilions. Kim watched crowds from the shadow of her hat, looking for the right man.

The first one was sitting alone in The Land pavilion. Kim watched him. He wasn't holding a table for anyone; he was busy with a platter of salad. Kim liked men who liked salads. This one had wavy, dark hair on his head, and more hair where his shirt was unbuttoned, and he had a lot of salad to eat yet.

Kim bought a platter of salad, and picked her way through a giggling, sticky gradeschool class. There wasn't an empty table in sight; Kim hesitated prettily by the salad-eater's table. In only a few minutes he had her hand in his and their knees touching under their platters of fodder, and was telling her stories of his graduate student life.

He was very clever for somebody who only had an M.A.. He could be talking about Antirrhinum sempervirens or Antirrhinum barrelieri (he was a botanist specializing in snapdragons), but when they went on the pavilion boat tour, he was watching for dark tunnels, and could stop his Latin midword.

He was a good kisser. He said she was gorgeous. He said his eyesight was extremely good, and it must have been: he managed to find deserted spots even at EPCOT, and then Kim enjoyed the kissing and quiet. But there was no point in being bored when snapdragons wilted. After an hour or two, Kim told the botanist she simply had to leave, said goodbye, and stepped into the crowd.

By three o'clock Kim had walked miles, and learned more than she wanted to know about insurance from a big-muscled blond. Before dinner she listened to tales of travel in Russia from a thin and wiry satyr in sandals. Both of them said at least once that she was gorgeous, and watched to see if other guys saw what they had on their arm.

She ate dinner with a computer analyst who had a reservation at Les Chefs de France, but she paid her way, and heard a married tale of woe. Finally she said she really had to leave. A fife-and-drum corps conveniently marched between them at the American Experience, and when "Yankee Doodle" faded along the lagoon, the computer analyst was nowhere to be seen. Kim found a dark bench and sat down.

Night breezes were warm over the World Showcase lagoon. It was snowing in New York. Kim sighed and yawned. The lagoon reflected lights of a miniature Eiffel Tower, and there was a baby St. Mark's Square, and Hampton Court, and Japanese Katsura palace. Kim's feet ached: she had walked through those stage sets that were like little painted ghosts. The authentic buildings, thousands of miles away, were life-sized, stained, crumbling, real things.

Crowds were thinning, and most of the families with children had taken them home to bed. Kim turned her back on the baby ghosts of Europe and walked slowly through Future World, not looking at men who looked at her. Lights and colors from the Universe of Energy, the World of Motion or the Journey Into Imagination spangled sidewalks and glowed in trees. Spaceship
Earth shone overhead.

About nine-thirty Kim stopped beside a grass plot to stare at a snake of water that seemed to be alive. It jumped from one socket in grass to another: high, silvery loops that leaped overhead, fell, leaped again. Their bright arcs of water began once more a hundred feet away. How could a water jet jump like a squirrel?

Kim watched, fascinated. A high school boy had timed the water's progress exactly. He leaped to meet it when it arched above him and caught the jet in one hand. Passers-by laughed and ducked. He was as expert as a baseball fielder. Kim didn't think he was good at much else. When he stood waiting for the next leaping water arc, his shoulders drooped, and so did his homely, pimpled face.

"You're good!" Kim said.

The boy turned around so quickly he almost fell. "Yeah!" he said, and ducked his head, then stared at Kim and missed the next leap of the silvery water-snake entirely.

"Teach me how to do it," Kim said.

So he taught her, and they leaped for the glittering water arcs. He finally got up nerve enough to say that he thought the water didn't travel at all: the jets jumped only once, and set off another in the line. "At least, I guess so," he said. His name was Donald Fisk, and he was getting used to looking at Kim. Would he get her a coke, she asked, sitting down to get her breath, and he came back with two cups, looking surprised that she hadn't left. She remembered how it was.

They sat together on a bench and drank the cokes. Don looked at her when he dared, and at his big, knobby hands when he didn't. He looked at men who passed, and they looked at her and then him. He was too dazed to even ask her name.

"What do you do in your spare time?" Kim said, and listened to his description of his swim team and a trophy they wanted. She wondered what would have happened if the football captain had leaned against her high school locker one day after school while other students watched, and asked how she liked her bit part in the school play. If he'd done that once, would it have made any difference?

Don described how hard it was to do swimming turns; they were tricky. Kim nodded, but she was thinking about her day. She'd told every man she met that she had a "very fascinating, unique job." One man--she couldn't remember which--had said,“Oh, really?" but she'd never had to explain what her job was.

"My dad's going to buy me a car," Don said. "When I
graduate. A new one." Kim kept a piece of ice in her mouth for a long time and thought she could have made a pretty humorous story out of Kathy Knudsen and Lander, Missouri.

"I've really got to go home," Kim said at last. Don's eyes were sparkling and he was pounding one big fist into the palm of the other hand, and he said please, could she stay just a minute more, because he had a favor to ask?

So Kim obliged. She sat on stone walls and benches. She looked up at the Geosphere and down at a bed of petunias. She knew how to do it, smiling, not looking into Don's brand new camera with flash attachment. Don asked strangers to take their picture, so Kim stood with his quivering arm around her, turning her profile to its best angle against his shirt. They traveled EPCOT walks like a firefly and his silent, smiling mate: flash, flash, flash.

Then Kim Cordelia kissed Don Fisk goodbye, giving him a quick lesson in the art. "I hope you'll win that swim trophy, and get your new car," she said. She smiled into his awed eyes (which she'd told him were handsome eyes--they were), and stroked his cheek, and ran her hands through his hair. He stood under Spaceship Earth and watched her go out in darkness toward the parking lots. He had a tremendous, triumphant smile on his face and dozens of pictures of himself and Kim Cordelia hanging around his neck.

Kim Cordelia turned her back on the Environmental Prototype of the Community of Tomorrow, and took a deep breath of Florida night odors: flowers and earth and damp cement. She caught a taxi that was unloading two couples at EPCOT for late dinner. As she climbed in, the men watched. She rode back to Orlando with no expression on her photogenic face at all.


"The Invisible Ones." (later used in SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY). VIRGINIA QUARTERLY REVIEW, Winter 1968.

"White Mouse." (later used in SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY). VIRGINIA QUARTERLY REVIEW, Winter 1969.

The Pen Syndicated Fiction Project, 1983-85, selected three of Nancy Price’s short stories to be printed in newspaper magazine sections during those years. Each magazine i1lustrated the stories in many different sty1es:

l. "They Don't Listen." (1ater used in SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY):

CHICAGO TRIBUNE Book Wor1d, September 11, 1983.
HARTFORD COURANT Northeast Magazine, October 23, 1983.
KANSAS CITY STAR, September 11, 1983.
MIAMI HERALD Tropic Magazine, September 25, 1983.
NEWSDAY, September 18, 1983.
THE OREGONIAN Northwest Magazine, September 25, 1983.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, September 25, 1983.
KANSAS CITY STAR, September 25, 1983.
Also printed in the book, THE AVAILABLE PRESS/​PEN SHORT STORY COLLECTION, Ba11antine, 1985.

2. "The Trucker and the Mermaid."

CHICAGO TRIBUNE Book Wor1d, January 1, 1984.

3. "Cover Girl."
NEWSDAY, September 1985.



Introduction to James Hearst's Collected Poems, Iowa State University Press, 2001.


"Autumn Plans for Christmas Giving." (Article and Nancy Price’s pen and ink drawing of shepherd and angel stained glass), THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, September 26, 1953.

"They Bloom for New." (Article and Nancy Price’s pen and ink drawing of signpost), THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, July 21, 1955.