Genre: Nonfiction, Anthology
Published: September 15, 2018
I’m so pleased to be a part of the blog tour for this touching new book celebrating the life of Pat Conroy.
When I first heard the news that Pat Conroy had passed away in 2016 I was saddened for his family and friends and for us readers. One of his friends said “A person didn’t meet Pat and stay the same before and after”– I can see how that would be true.
I deeply wish I had met Mr. Conroy or had the chance to listen to him speak, but after reading story after story of his kindness to new authors, generous spirit and his wicked sense of humor, I feel as if we’ve been gifted with a rare and privileged glimpse into his life. To hear him speak would indeed have been a special experience as Nathalie Dupree states “listening to him talk, combining his storytelling ability with his love of language, was a sacred experience, like listening to fine church music.”
The book is presented in a loose chronology of his life and each author has a different story and perspective on this great and humble man.
There are memories from one of his students on Daufuskie Island who had never had a white teacher, let alone a male teacher, then one from a guy working at the copy shop when Pat brings in a manuscript of The Prince of Tides and we also hear from his daughter who understood and valued his gift with words and language.
Pat Conroy was a generous and loyal friend to many. His friend of 50 years John Warley shared this letter from Pat; “The night is changing into morning. Thanks again for your letter, John. I emerged from college with no better friend than you. I am tenacious about keeping friends. I plan to go through life with you somewhere within reach. Mawkishly and shamelessly, good luck next year. If you need any help financially, morally, physically, spiritually or anything else, call me.”
He knew his way around a kitchen as well as around a basketball court. He had a sailors mouth but the utmost respect for women. He was larger than life, friendly to everyone and an absolute genius with words.
He was so curious about people and their place in the world. His observations were often sharp and irreverent. People were drawn to him like a pied piper and it’s no surprise that over 400 people attended his 70th Birthday in Beaufort, South Carolina. This event would be the last time many of his friends would see him because he passed away only 5 months later.
This was a brilliant tribute to man who was many things to many people. Wendell Minor, his longtime cover illustrator had this to say:
“Everyone who knew him was touched by his heart and soul, and his ever warm sign off, “Great Love!“. Great love to you dear Pat your heart lives on in all of us.”
I can’t think of a better way to end the review...
This book is a perfect gift for readers, fans of southern literature, Pat Conroy fans, writers, booksellers, and teachers.
Thank you to Suzy Approved Book Tours for including our page on the tour!
QOTD: Have you read any of Pat Conroy’s books? What is your favorite?
Want more reviews? Click here!