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 have to share this with you Mrs. King Conroy. Your husband was the keynote speaker at my sister’s college graduation many years ago. I reluctantly took my then (approximately) 6 year old son, who has ADHD, but at that time was un-diagnosed. You can only imagine an easily distracted boy, with A LOT of energy at a college graduation ceremony. Well to say that he was mesmerized the whole time Mr. Conroy was on stage is an understatement. I have never seen him listen so intently to anyone or anything, ever.
You were blessed to have this gifted, captivating individual as your soul mate and best friend and I will always enjoy telling that story. Thank you for sharing him with us.
Twenty-odd years ago, when we were living on the coast of Maine, I recall being so moved by "The Prince of Tides" that I wrote my first and only other letter to an author, sending it to the publisher with no real hope that it would ever find its way to Pat A couple of months later, to my great surprise, Pat called me at our home in Kennebunk, Maine, an act of kindness that I shall always remember.
Having also been raised as a "military brat" with an abusive father. in his remarkable way, Pat pulled the scabs off these old wounds, but in doing so was also able to apply a salve to help heal them.
I shall always be grateful for Pat's incredible insights, amazing storytelling, and his amazing ability to capture the essence of who we are, in beautiful and unvarnished ways.
As I listened to this, so much of it resonated with me. When he talked about James Dickey and how he promised himself that if he met him he would not become a blubbering idiot (not his words, mine), I thought, I felt that way about you Pat! And I did. The difference between those 2 situations I think is that he said once he met James Dickey he thought Mr. Dickey would have thought it an appropriate reaction. Lol. I don't think Mr. Conroy would have felt that way.
So much I could say! So much! But I think a big part of what I admire is that he took his pain and turned it into a thing of beauty. Without covering it up. As he said at the end of this book when he described the Japanese art of repairing pottery without covering up the crack. His skill with words made him a master at metaphor.
I will always miss his potent voice. So thankful I found it long ago.
Pat and his books will never be forgotten.
Thank you Mr Conroy for some of my favorite moments in reading.
So sad to hear of his death.
Today is July 13, 2019 and I’ve finished the novel. Wowza! What a read.
I’m sorry to learn of Mr Conroy’s passing (via Wikipedia), but am grateful for his publications.
Thank you, Team Conroy
Jennifer J. Petrick
From The San Francisco Bay Area, By way of Southern California Beach Cities, and the northeastern Mesabi Iron range of Minnesota
I was born the same year as Pat and knew of him at the beginning of his career, reading "The Water is Wide" upon publication and then reading "The Boo". I knew a Citadel classmate of his in Pensacola in 1968 when he and my husband were training to fly helicopters in Viet Nam.
As time passed, I systematically waited for each new book with baited breath as I shared the Marine Corps, teaching, and writing with Pat. It took me a lot longer to become an author and I shall never possess the gift of painting lovely visuals with my words as did he, the master of the art.
I had the pleasure of meeting Cassandra and sharing a luncheon table with her at a writers' conference about a year before Pat's death. Hope was still alive that I would one day meet the great man, too.
Alas, I did not, but I did travel to the low-country cemetery along dirt roads to view his simple grave within a rusted wire fence enclosure. His SC soil-covered grave was covered with seashells from the waters he so loved. A loving touch -- perhaps from the children whose lives meant so much to him.
Lord, Pat. I miss you.
I count myself among the millions of fans whose lives have been deeply and profoundly impacted by Pat Conroy's writing.
His canon of work is an embarrassment of riches. As film and TV producers, we would love to discuss adaptation rights. We know his legacy will continue to reach even wider audiences, and would love to be part of that.
I was raised by an insecure, hot tempered and controlling father. Reading Pat's accounting of his childhood validated my own feelings and reactions. Dealing with them is a lifelong process and it is a constant struggle to stay ahead of them and not fall back into the same pattern with my own children.
I'm sure Pat's story has helped others as well as myself. I regret that I didn't read The Great Santini and The Death of Santini until I was 81 years old.