Hey, out there,
I’ve published two books since I first wrote a letter of introduction to my newly-hatched website. For me, this is a starting out-point caused mostly by the passage of time and the possibility of my sudden or protracted death. Now, I’m halfway through a new book I’m calling The Death of Santini in which I tell of my father’s miraculous turn-around after he retired from the Marine Corps. He loathed my depiction of him in The Great Santini, and he set out to prove me wrong by turning himself into something that was recognizably human. It’s the great surprise of my life that I ended up loving him so much. My brothers and sister, Kathy, are unloading their stories about Mom and Dad to me, and we all suffered in the house of Santini. My siblings do not all share my exalted affection for our mother, and I have not been shy about sharing their dissent. This causes me pain, but I’ve been writing about these two mismatched people for my whole life, so I need to get to some kind of conclusion about them, one that feels like the truth at last.
My sister, Carol Ann, remains a stranger to my life. I only see her at weddings and funerals – all of which she turns into personal nightmares for me– as you will one day read about. My sisters-in-law are so hysterical at the thought of reading about themselves and their poor, traumatized husbands that they have been treating me with far more kindness and respect than they could ever muster in the past. I tell them that they have nothing to worry about, but they know that I’ve lied before. (That’s a joke, girls.)