Pat very much enjoyed hearing from his readers and was often moved and inspired by your comments.
As you know, Pat Conroy died on March 4, 2016. This site continues to be managed by his longtime friends and literary agents. You may join in a community of his readers by sharing your comments about Pat’s books or anything else that comes to mind in this guest book. We, the family, the agents and the friends are deeply moved by the outpouring of love you, his beloved readers, wrote here… Much gratitude to you all; Thank you.
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I visited the Pat Conroy literary center in October as I need to know as much as I can about him and his work. He has impacted my life significantly. My only regret is that I never met him. In my view a true master and genius of the genre. I know he said he doubted himself every day. I marvel at him every day. I too am sad that I will not be able to look forward to his next jewel to be published.
As an author myself, cannot tell you how often I have to stop and read a sentence two or three times - filled with the awe of his use of metaphor - before I can go on. His books are so filled with his gentleness and sense of beauty that the words take my breath away every time. Reading Beach Music right now, and am filled with a new love for Rome as told through Pat Conroy's South Carolina eyes. He will be missed, but I am grateful that his words live on. Thank you.
However a book that touched my heart was My Losing Season. I played in the professional basketball league in Bolivia for 10 seasons. When I read that book, it was so moving about my own basketball experience in life. I got to take my students from Bolivia one time to Ford's Theater to see the adaptation of Conrack, the play.
The booth where Lincoln got shot was open that night because someone forgot to lock it. I took my students in to see it and be there. We were there maybe 5 minutes before a security guard told us to get out. Pat Conroy inspired me to become a teacher. Just thank you Pat Conroy. Dr. Bryn Gabriel
I have been to the Citadel a few times and loved every minute of it including hanging out in Charleston. I just have one question.: When will the book Pat started. Aquarious" be published? Keep up the great work with this website as it brings Pat to life each time we, his fans, look at it.
Pat's nephew, Ed Conroy was a fellow knob in my company, and oddly the cadet upperclassman I loathed the most was named McClain (same last name as the protagonist in TLoD). Before I knew it, I had changed my major to English (because Pat was an English major) and was trying to figure out if it were possible that Col Mathis (who was as large as a right whale) and Col Alexander (whom everyone called "Trashmouth") where the two characters the legendary professor "Alexander the Great" in TLoD was based on.
Anyway, I regretfully never met Mr. Conroy in person, but I think we would have gotten along well together. In one of his books, he claimed something akin to, "I don't write fiction - I just change the names of the characters so I don't get sued." I really grew to feel like I knew him, and most of his friends personally.
Like everyone else, I was devastated when I heard of his cancer diagnosis, and I felt like I'd lost a friend when when he passed. The world needs more Pat Conroys. When I meet a future cadet, I make it a point to gift them "The Lords of Discipline." That book changed the trajectory of my life, as I know it has many others.
Happy Birthday Pat Conroy.
Pat was our starting point guard on our Bulldog basketball team and was an an outstanding player. I remember when we played VMI he scored over 29 points and we won in quadruple overtime setting a Southern Conference record. His father was upset with him because he did not score more points.
I have enjoyed reading all of Pat’s novels from cover to cover. A few years prior to Pat’s passing I had the privilege of attending one of his book signings in Raleigh. It was great catching up with him sharing a few war stories at The Citadel. Today my wife and I visited Pat’s grave just past the old Brick Church on St Helena Island. Pat is buried in a predominantly African American cemetery very fitting for a man who once taught English on Daufuski Island and cared about all mankind. Pat’s legacy will live on for generations to come. It was a real honor to have known this great Southern novelist!
I am in the middle of a literary experience I have never known before. Needless to say, the movies were not nearly as good as the novels. But how can you cram a Pat Conroy book into a two hour Hollywood production? It is never too late to discover the charms of Conroy's work.
Since I was already acquainted with with NC's favorite author, Thomas Wolfe, I decided to pick up and read Prince of Tides. It was enjoyable but I wasn't really moved. Then I read 'The Water is Wide' and fell in love with it.
I have just finished 'South of Broad' which I thought deserved a Pulitzer. Mr. Conroy somehow wrote the story of my life (at least in parts). Loved all the Joyce references and sarcasm. I know every step of "The City" which he described in perfect detail. I could almost smell the Tenderloin again. I have walked every step in Charleston he artfully painted on each page. I felt I was there with Leo.
I knew and loved the characters and found myself in tears at different points . It's been a long time since a novel has moved me so much emotionally. My real regret is never having the opportunity to meet Mr. Conroy. God Bless you Pat and thank you for the gifts you shared with us.
I have turned to them during times of joy, loneliness and grief. Particularly during these current times when the world has gone crazy, time has stood still and the very fabric of our life is being torn.
May his stories live on, the South rise again and our Country return to the greatness that our founding fathers imagined.
May God bless the USA and long live the legacy of Pat Conroy!
My role at the time led me to be tasked with some of the particulars of how to honor Gene in the most memorable way possible. Since we were quite familiar with Gene's friendship with Pat, his former student, and the way that Pat always managed to slip in beautiful tributes to Gene (as well as the larger population of dedicated English teachers) in his interviews and conversations, we knew that our celebration had to include Pat Conroy.
Some time during Pat's publicity tour for My Losing Season he was scheduled for a signing at the Open Book (now unfortunately open no longer) in Greenville, SC. We made arrangements with the owner for me to meet Pat before he greeted the general public. That moment is a cherished memory I will never forget.
When I told Pat that our state English teacher association was planning to recognize Gene with its highest award, he looked at me and without missing a beat said, "Son, if you're doing anything to honor Gene Norris, you just tell me when and where, and I'll be there."
Of course, he was true to his word. I can promise anyone who reads this that there are quite a few English teachers around the state of South Carolina who remember seeing Pat's tribute to Gene that year as one of the most beautiful moments in the history of our conference. Sadly, Gene passed away several months later, but one of his family members told me at his funeral how precious that moment was for Gene as well.
I just wanted to publicly thank Pat for what he meant to those of us who teach English. In addition to his wonderful books, we are so fortunate to still have his beautiful words of support for our profession with us.
He was scheduled to do an interview with me, which I arranged to happen on the court at The World's Most Famous Arena. Unfortunately, Pat took ill and was unable to keep our appointment. I was so disappointed. I got married two years ago, and recently re-watched Conrack for the umpteenth time, introducing it to my wife, Shari.
Of course, I told her all about Pat's impact on me, and that time I came so close to meeting him.
Now I have to read more of his books.