My Blogging Life

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.)

In the late nineties I was diagnosed with an incurable neurological disorder known as “writer’s cramp.”  Though I laughed out loud when the doctor gave me this diagnosis, the humor of it faded in short order.  It’s the same disease that Henry James developed, and it sent him to a recording device to speak his novels into a machine and have them transcribed.  In my opinion this did not help the later novels much, and I can’t pick up The Golden Bowl or The Princess Cassmissa without choking on the runaway elaborations of his spoken novelistic voice.

So I did not buy a tape recorder or invest in a computer that operates by voice recognition as the supremely gifted writer Richard Powers did.  Instead, I did wrist exercises and managed to write on my “good days,” read on the bad ones.  The main thing that changed was that I rarely wrote in my journals at all.  I could not afford to sacrifice my writing life to the luxury of journal keeping when there were more novels to write.  I checked out the “blog” world, blog being the ugliest word to emerge out of the “wired” universe so far.  But I thought I’ve got this website that I barely use, and it’s being watched over by a baleful webmaster, Mihai (Michael) Radulescu, who hails from Romania where Vlad the Impaler and Count Dracula once left their marks.  I’ll make an effort to keep this journal until I decide to abandon it and return happily to my unjournaled life.

Great Love, Pat Conroy

290 Responses to My Blogging Life

  • Skylar says:

    Hi Pat,
    I am originally from Atlanta and now live in the beautiful PNW. I have been a fan of yours since reading The Water is Wide many years ago.

    I suppose my favorite of your writings has been The Prince of Tides. Magnificent book and film. The book, as often is the case, is much more fulfilling in details and character development, but the film was mesmerizing. I was lucky to be in Beaufort during part of the filming since I knew someone involved. Exciting to see Streisand and meet Danner, thrilling to have personal experiences connected to a favorite book and film. These experiences left lingering memories that draw me back to a quaint southern town filled with history and waterways and stories of people whose lives were complex and compelling.

    I have a niece who is considering a job in the Beaufort area so Beaufort may indeed become a place with even more personal interest for me, This weekend she and her family will make their first visit to this enchanting place. I hope it seduces them the way it did me so many years ago. :)

    Thank you for the innumerable hours of pleasurable reading you have given me during my life. You are a brilliant writer with fascinating stories to tell. I look forward to yet another journey and am glad to learn there are a couple of books waiting for me!. My husband and I plan to visit Beaufort during one of our annual fall trips to the east coast. Maybe you will be speaking somewhere in the area, and we can time our visit to coincide. It would be a delight to meet you after all these years.
    My best,

    • Bill Johnson says:

      I’m very much looking forward to your new book. Ever since reading My Losing Season I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your writing. You are a truly gifted writer Mr. Conroy and I look forward to reading your next book. Bill Johnson

      • Jo Anne Horn says:

        Dear Pat,
        I’m a fan of everything you have written, especially The Great Santni and Beach Music. When your books come out, I buy two, one a paperback. It takes me longer to read one of your books because I linger over your beautiful phrasing. With the paperback, I highlight the phrases and go back to reread them again and again. The phrase about “water hyacinths gliding across the water like ghosts of dead swans” still entrances me. I’m a wannabe writer who writes well enough to amuse myself, with a book of short stories published. In one of my unpublished novels, I have a scene involving a woman and her grandson, and funeral arrangements. When I read your scene with Talitha in the funeral parlor, measuring herself for a casket, I railed at my sluggard Muse for not thinking of this. It would have fit perfectly. My character is so much like Talitha, it’s uncanny. I can’t understand the hatred for a parent, as my dad was like John Walton on The Waltons, and my childhood was perfect. But , however pain and hatred beset you, you were filled with a beautiful soul. Nothing else can account for such beautiful phrasing. Looking forward to the new book. I would die happy if only I could attend my dream conference, with you and Tess Gerritsen in attendance. It would have to happen soon though, as I’m 78. I write because old gals are suppose to do something to fill their time, and I can’t knit and crochet; it is boring. I had to resign my EMT certification three years ago because of bad knees, not by choice. I’m thinking of writing North Lake Brownwood Irregulars, about some of the nutty things that happened over the years. Like loading a patient not knowing his left leg was a prosthesis, and it falling off in a medic’s hands.
        A fan from Brownwood, Texas,
        Jo Anne

  • "Bet" short for Betty says:

    I FOUND YOU!!! Just wanted to say hello and that I’m a “late bloomer” to Pat Conroy and his books but am now an avid reader and am soooo happy to see that you are working on a new novel!! I simply hate the long gruelling wait for a new book of yours. Please tell me this one will be 2000 pages! I recently spent a week in Pawley’s Island and slowly read your cookbook and laughed all the way through it!! I made it last because I didn’t want it to end, for god’s sake! I’m now slowing reading My Reading Life, enjoying it as well, wondering what the hell I’m going to read until Pat Conroy publishes yet another best seller. Until then I’ll try yet another recipe:)

    • Connie Sproch says:

      Your comment about slowly reading one of Pat Conroy’s books rang a bell with me. I hate for one of his books to end, so I will allow myself to read only 5 or 6 pages a day when I get about three quarters finished!!!

  • I would read toilet paper if you would write on it. Sincerely, an humble worshipper in the Cathedral of Pat Conroy…

    • Sally Moore says:

      Susan, I loved your comment and I totally agree. When I finish his books I am let down, disappointed and feel as tho I’ve lost my best friend because there is nothing left to anticipate with such great enthusiasm. If anyone knows of any other author that is remotely comparable please advise. I need something to patch me thru to his next novel. I hope Mr. Conroy takes excellent care of himself so he will be around until I am gone….

      • Sally Moore says:

        BTW, I am married to an AF F-4 navigator so I totally get the “Dad” thing and so do my kids:(

      • Auntie M. says:

        I understand what you mean about losing friends when come to the end of a Pat Conroy book. I have 4% left to read in “The Water is Wide”. Saw the made for TV movie years ago. Couldn’t remember anything about it. I can relate. My husband and I are both teachers. We were in college when groups were hanging around under lamposts singing “We Shall Overcome”. Was introduced to Pat Conroy in “Beach Music” I am in love with the “low country”, but am from NW PA. Oddly enough my son just moved to Moncks Corners, SC. Can’t wait to visit and look for Yamicraw Island. Mr. Conroy’s descriptive writings never cease to amaze me. I have just begun reading his novels. Next…..”The Great Santini”

    • caren says:

      Love this comment!

    • LL says:

      Lol! I would too. I return to The Prince of Tides every few years in order to learn more about myself and life each time. It will be fascinating to read about your father’s evolution.

  • Julie Walsh says:

    Very happy to hear you will have closure and we all can be a witness to it. I love your writing and therefore, you, more than a grown woman with ample practicality should. (Don’t worry- I’m far too lazy to stalk you appropriately!) I google “Pat Conroy quotes” weekly to use as my facebook status updates. No worries, I give you credit! ;)
    Much love!

  • Kate Dolack says:

    Oh, Pat, lovely entry! I had to laugh when I heard you refer to the word, ‘blog’ as ‘the ugliest word to emerge from the ‘wired’ universe so far,’ as I am guilty of uttering the same sentiment repeatedly. Hypocrite that I am, I now how three in which I alternate different genres of fiction and autobiographical stories. So, ha!

    My husband, a Marine aviator, has kept his ‘blog’ running and filled it with sea stories since our wedding (in which you actually signed a copy of ‘The Prince of Tides,’ for the two of us. Brilliant. Wonderful), though I fear I don’t have his stamina.

    Anyway, the voyeuristic bits and pieces of myself are thrilled to you’re sharing your thoughts-though I warn you-it is difficult to keep up! Most of the time I sit at my desk, head in hands trying to squeeze out ideas like orange juice. When the best idea I can come up with involves the type of egg I had for breakfast, I tend to give up.

    I hope you don’t do the same. Out of everyone in the world, you are the one person would could make the process of frying an egg sound like the entry plot of some great novel.

    Enjoyed it much-

    Warmest, Kate Dolack

  • Cyrus says:

    Dear Pat,
    Keep penning these missives. I love love love the dedication and humor you bring to your craft, and reading your words makes me want to be a better, more honest writer myself. Thank you for that. PS. The Prince of Tides has accompanied to some of the most beautiful places around the world. For a great while, I toted that book everywhere with me.

  • This blog is very cool. Can’t wait for the new book to come out.

  • Judy Selzer says:

    So excitd to see your blog… I love your work. My husband got me a autographed copy of “South of Broad” My very, very favorite book…. And I read a lot of good books

  • Janet Reeves says:

    Mr. Conroy, I am excited to be able to read your blogs (even though it is a horrible word). I am glad to know you are acknowledge your father’s turn-around and can’t wait to read it. I hear your mother was from Piedmont AL, I was born in that small town. I am curious to know if you ever visited the are.
    Janet Reeves
    Beaufort, SC.

  • Denise Kelley says:

    I will read anything you write; I consider you the greatest living author. Your subjects aren’t “easy” but your prose is beautiful and I’ve read everything many times over.

    I’m torn when I read that you “can’t write if you’re happy”, and I still say you’ve never written fiction (after reading your nonfiction, I see it’s the same material!). I have each of your books in hardcover, but I was still so excited when I read a few weeks ago that “Beach Music” was finally to be published in eformat.

    I’ve been a bookworm since I was three years old, and I never knew that reading paper books was physically taxing, but when I got my first Kindle a year ago I discovered that it could be even easier. I’ve had a chronic illness for 22 years that limits my strength and once I got my Kindle I realized that my reading had been limited by how long I could hold up a book, even on a pillow. I’ve never been able to decide whether my favorite of your books was “Prince of Tides” or “Beach Music” but now at least I can re-read any of them any time I like, by just holding up 8 ozs or so of “book.” Thank you!

  • lois hobart says:

    i’m not a blog-reader, nor a blogger, but i am a conroy reader, so i hit the button on facebook to see “whazzup” with you … your writing has c h a n g e d m y l i f e – and had a profound effect in my “getting” that emotional childhood abuse was not unique to me. that expectations are profoundly self-disruptive (pre-meditated disappointments) – and that there are important and profoundly creative ways for young victims to mature and grow and soar as survivors and thrivers. we live amidst the walking wounded and to be proud of one’s own personal work – either in a therapist’s office, in a journal, in mountains of novels, in a studio with paint or clay or whatever, dancing, singing, etc. – we CAN thrive. YOU and your honest exclamations of your life (albeit YOURS alone and not possible to be fully shared with any siblings – my brothers remember things differently, too) have brought you so much – and so much has been shared with complete strangers. THANK YOU.

    i met you once at a book signing in evanston, illinois – a fleeting moment – but i just had to KNOW that you were, indeed, real. i have a delicious list of authors i hold with great reverence – you, joyce carol oats, harper lee, truman capote, donna taart, edward albee. gee – and the $64,000 question: what do all these people have in common! :)

    if i wore a hat, i’d take it off to you. … instead – throwing kisses and fresh basil.
    lois hobart –
    Chicago’s Dream Coach

    • Jo says:

      You hit the nail on the head. You summed it up very well. Pat Conroy’s works can and has had profound effects on many lives, including my own. I count myself lucky to have experienced such deeply moving and beauiful writing in my lifetime.

  • Wisconsin Annie says:

    Looking forward to reading more from you, Pat. A comment on your journey with family; I am glad for you that your father made a choice to make changes in his life so that you could have a meaningful relationship with him in his later years. My hope is that your entire family can find healing in coming to terms with life in the Santini house. May you all find forgiveness and gain insight into the bond that you shared in surviving and somehow growing through some very painful experiences.

  • Vonda Coy says:

    Dearest Conroy,

    PLEASE don’t stop writing even if you have to resort to taped/transcribed novels. My life would be incomplete without your works. In “My Reading Life” you talk about only reading books/authors that change your life and I must tell you you are that author for me. I continue to keep a Pat Conroy book in my circulation at all times because each time I read one of your works, I am changed. Thank you for answering your mother’s call for you to be a “southern writer.”

    Sincerely and truly your devotee,
    Vonda Coy
    East Bend, NC

  • Caroline Shank says:

    Please, when you can, please write in here. I think you are one of the Greatest American writers ever to have published anything. You can turn vocabulary into a rain forest of words that peek out and fall down on us in such a wonderful way. I want to explore your world as long as I live and every new paragraph is an expotition.
    Caroline Shank
    Brandon Florida

  • barb says:

    I am a huge fan and have been from the first line of the first book of yours that I read.

  • Please do not stop writing ever!

  • Jan Beason says:

    You remain my all time favorite writer so I was thrilled to read your blog…keep it up!!! Can’t wait for your new book. Your books are some of the few I will NOT read on my ipad, but need to hold and keep going back to!! Thanks Pat!

  • Glenda says:

    My husband & I both enjoy your books, we are looking forward to reading your new one.
    “The Prince of Tides” is my favorite book of all time. We are coming to S. Carolina in Sept. because of your books, being from Louisiana I understand “the southern way”.

    I have also read Ms King’s novels & I am ready for more.
    Thank you both

  • Jennifer M says:

    Delighted to see that one of my favorite writers now has a blog. I hope to enjoy your words more often now. :)

  • BJ King says:

    As long as you blog I will be one of your devoted readers, as I have with every book you’ve written. I adored MY WRITING LIFE, although it became a little pricey, since I tried to purchase many of the books you wrote about. WAR AND PEACE I cheated and bought the audio book version. I do have a copy of Carol’s poems. Who can explain how she can’t find neutral ground and possibly you both heal together from your shared childhood with your father. I dare say your coming to love the father he became in later years, was more healing for you than him. I am anxiously awaiting THE DEATH OF SANTINI!

  • Cal Waite says:

    Oh man, how good it is to know I’ll be able to read your blog on a regualr basis! I’m still steamed that you up and left San Francisco in the middle of the night without so much as as a hint beforehand. More importantly, you left before I could run into you in and buy you a drink somewhere in North Beach one day. I have made a gift of your books to friends over the years, and still think (in The Great Santini) your sister’s use of the tiny teaspoon to catch her tears of sadness and fling them from the backseat onto your father’s neck is the most moving and memorable scene of all the wonderful things you’ve written. Can’t wait to buy you that drink sometime, Pat.

  • Don says:

    Mr. Conroy,
    I have discovered you rather late in life (I’m 57) through reading “My Reading Life” (which I enjoyed thoroughly and have recommended to several others). I’ve finished ‘Beach Music” and am now reading “The Lords of Discipline.” I hope to work my way through your entire corpus eventually, or at least those volumes in our public library. I look forward to reading your blog and getting to know you better.
    Don (in Gainesville, Texas)

    • Linda Rock says:

      I have been a fan of Pat Conroys for years since I read the first book I found which I think was Prince of Tides. From that moment I devoured everything I could from this author. I would love to have the talent that this man possesses. My favorite book is South of Broad and I have read it and listened to it at least 3 times. Only books I haven’t read is “the Boo” and his cook book. I have downloaded the “boo” and plan to read it next. I will have to find the cookbook. If you haven’t read “south of broad” don’t hesitate another day. Mr. Conroy, you are my favorite author!
      Linda Rock

  • mary faulkner says:

    I just finished reading the Prince of Tides for the third time in almost 10 years. I was quite surprised, after reading your blog, that your relationship with your sister contrasts sharply with Savannah. Did you model Savannah from anyone in real life?

    By the way, your writing is exquisite.

    Mary Faulkner

  • Ginny Mueller says:

    A nice surprise to see a message from you!! I love the adventures you have sent me on. That most of them – coming from a similar childhood trauma – and going down memory lane. Looking forward to your next book – I’ve miss ya!

  • Faith C. says:

    I love this entry and can’t wait for The Death of Santini. I once told a friend that you were the best American writer of family humor and she hadn’t realized that your books were so funny.
    Take care of you hand. Thank you for your writing.

  • David Robinson says:


    Your books have long inspired many of us in ways that you will never know. They are so honest, painful, humorous and real that we can never shake the impact they have had on our lives. I have written you before that “My Losing Season” was one of those inspirations in my own experience. As a musician, I identify with the struggle of self-doubt and fear of impending failure on one hand, while experiencing the exhilaration of a truly wonderful performance on the other. I pray that the books you have planned will come out and that you will find a way to keep writing for many years to come. If you ever are coming to Fort Worth, Texas, I want to know.

    Best Wishes,

  • June says:

    I love your writing so much, I’ll read anything you write!

  • Rob Brickell says:

    Welcome, Pat! Had to do it sooner or later so I will look forward to all your posts.You’re right though, couldn’t they have come up with a better word than ‘blog’? Come to think of it, wasn’t that an old Steve McQueen movie! I look forward to seeing your newest tome in print. Will be at another of your signings (been to all of them here in the lowcountry). Well, the muse beckons me back. Stay cool up there on Fripp. A bit toasty here in Bluffton/Hilton Head. Best wishes!

  • Doug Moring says:

    I saw an interview with you and your father. He said that you could have been a better writer if he’d beat you more. Your response was: “Dad, if you had beat me any more I could have been Shakespeare.” I will never forget that line.

  • Jenny White Hinds says:

    I grew up at your house too. You tell the story well.

    Compassionately Yours, Jenny

    • Tracy says:

      Haha. I woke up down today. You’ve cehered me up!

    • Cat says:

      Then we must be sisters! If Pat needs any anecdotes I will be happy to share. Mine are so unbelievable they couldn’t possibly be made up. Pat, I do hate when your books end. You have given me days and hours of immense pleasure and wonderful laughs and familiar tears. Cat

  • I have just re-read “Prince of Tides”—–it was like new and wonderfully dysfunctional—I am 71 and a great fan of yours–my sister and I met you at Fripp several years ago—to say that I love your books would be such a gross understatement—I am now turning my adult Grands on to them–what a treat they have ahead—

  • pamela wedding says:

    So happy you have started your blog!
    “My Reading List” (a personal favorite) has been a topic of discussion with many friends – some of us have speculated about how many times we bumped into you at the Old New York Book Store or even Oxford at Peachtree Battle. (many) Keep writing & living – you have too many things to say to go anywhere yet.
    We love you too!

  • Julia Folsom Saint says:


    I have read (and reread) all of your books. Until recently, I had no idea of what your world looked like. Then, a couple of summers ago, my husband and I traveled to South Carolina and toured the coast. When I returned home, I reread (again) several of your books. They made even more sense to me. Your ability to invite your readers into your world is very nearly seductive. I often escape to those places whenever I may.

    I am so glad that you have launched the blog. I am excited that you are working on other books, and that we, your readers, have something to look forward to. I wish you the best and will wait patiently for your next offerings.

  • Mary Kelley says:

    Great to hear another book coming. And wonderful to find and read your blog.

  • Tim Carrier says:

    Mr. Conroy,
    I have met you on a couple of occasions, a few of which you graciously signed some of your books for my and wife and I (Those don’t get loaned out). I look forward to your blogging life.

  • Squirrel says:

    Ahhh….real life, real people! I’m not alone in the ‘fun’ family life. My husband’s family put the FUN in dysFUNctional! There are days when I cannot believe I am actually living this life, with these people. It’s nice to know there are other families just as screwed up as our families! You make me laugh!

  • Rachele says:

    Mr. Conroy,
    I just have to to tell you ever so simply… I love your work! Beach Music was introduced to me by my dear friend Emily some years ago, and ever since then I have had a love affair with your words. That book was intoxicating and impossible to put down. All my life I have had an abiding love for words and books, and after reading Beach Music, I was truly touched. The way in which you tell your stories is magical and spiritual. You allow your readers to be swept away into your colorful world. As I flipped through the pages I saw the scenes setting before me, I could smell that Carolina salt air and your words evoked such great emotion from me throughout the entirety of this novel.

    To this day it is, and forever will be, my most favorite book of all time.

    Thank you truly, and I will continue to be one of your loyal fans and I look forward to your new material.


  • Sheryl Spivey says:

    I have been in love with you and your writing since you signed a copy of BeachMusic for me in Bimingham many years ago! Shortly after that you married an Alabama girl and I realized that I’d missed my chance…but it was close. Your father was with you that day and charmed everyone there. I can hardly wait to read more about him.

    Sadly, I loved Beach Music so much that I shared it with someone, and it was never returned! So when you come back to Birmingham or Talladega I need you to autograph another copy of it for me!


  • vicree says:

    I complained to friends that you write too slow…they urged me to read slower. They may be right; it’s just that I’m older than you and I don’t want to miss anything! If you ever decide to write in the sand (spur of the moment kind of thing) please let me know in time to get there before it washes away!

  • Lynn Guinn says:

    I agree “Blog” –Sounds like someone is tossing his cookies.
    I have been a fan since The Great Santini. Waiting for the final chapter.

  • Sarah martin says:

    So great to hear that there is another novel in the works! Very anxious to read it. Any book signings or appreances in the near future?

  • Carol Everest says:

    I would read anything you write. I’m grateful you put on facebook that you have this. Every now and then I see some value for facebook, this is among the best. i so wish I could make sense of my childhook (my life actually) by writing the kind of stories you write. You have an amazing gift and I’m grateful you share it.

  • Susan Thiets Heather says:

    We all missed you at the reunion. I can’t describe what a great experience it was I learned so many things I didn’t know when I was at Sacred Heart. Wish you more good days than bad.


  • Tom Bastable says:

    Always great to read you Pat, no matter what the medium or subject. Keep it up.

  • J Kraft says:

    Thank you for sharing the stories of your life and for this extra blogging bonus. I look forward to the continued saga of The Great Santini.

    • Jacqui Watson says:

      Hi Pat, what a delight to write to you. You certainly can turn a phrase! What a delight to read your works. I just finished reading “lords of Discipline” and I can’t stop reliving each moment. I must say that Beach Music was probably my favorite book of all. But with each book I read I love you more. I wish you well with your writers cramp. I pray that it will miraculously be healed so you can continue writing your wonderful and beautiful stories. A Pat Conroy devotee. Yours faithly Jacqui Watson

  • Kit Naylor says:

    Glad to hear from you, Pat. I look forward to more posts…

    All the best,


  • Sharon Ishimasa says:

    A daily fix of my favorite author…terrific!

  • Geege Gordon says:

    Of course I read the GREAT SANTINI did not like your father at all!!! I am interested in reading new book and see how he changed his life. When is it too late to change relations with your children. Beach Music is still my Favorite Book of your and any other author……

  • Karyn Khare says:

    Even your “blogs” are entertaining! I also do not like that word. keep the writings coming, your faithful readers so joyfully and patiently anticipate each new one.

    One comment on your use of word “girls.” Respectfully, even though it is a much used term of endearment even among most of my friends “women or ladies” suits us mature members of the female sex all the better.

  • Patty Russell says:

    So glad you’ve figured a way to deal with the “writer’s cramp” and that you are willing to give us occasional, appetite-whetting pieces as we eagerly await the next novel!

  • Susan Simon says:

    Hi there.. I just want to thank you for sharing your journal with me.. You are the best author there is..

  • Mel Dias says:


    Finally some way to tell you how much I have enjoyed your writing! Having four brothers, two sisters and growing up Catholic in Anderson SC, I understand your books. I hate sounding like a groupie but I am a fan, still I hope to meet you through a mutual friends Tee and Sherri Hooper.


  • Pat,

    When I first heard the word ‘blog’ and understood what it meant, my initial thought was, ‘What kind of ego-maniac would do this?’ Now, I am hooked.

    You are my favorite author of all time and one of only two or three fiction writers that I read. The autographed copy of ‘Beach Music’, signed by you and Santini is one of my most prized possessions.

    Thanks for the stories…


  • Angela Jones says:

    Thank you for blogging and sharing your thoughts, memories, stories with us. They are quite fascinating. I’ve read all of your books…my first time ever crying while reading a (your) cookbook! Love you lots….always hoping to run into you when I visit Fripp, Beaufort, Charleston…….highlight for me and my daughter, Ava, and mother, Vivian, was meeting you at Litchfield Books a few years back. You are such a charmer!

  • Shelley says:

    I’ve been following you since I first read “The Water is Wide” in high school. “Look Homeward, Angel” set in motion a personal transformation; your work fed the change.

    I’ll happily take whatever you will give us.

  • Mary Galeani says:

    Pat Conroy? Really? The same Pat Conroy whose every book I’ve devoured, and collected (paying way over-priced) for a “signed first?” (I’m counting on you becoming highly collectible sometime in the future :) Every summer for years we vacationed on the Outer Banks of NC, and every summer I re-read The Water is Wide, laughing and crying at different parts each time. I’m sure you don’t remember, but one day in DC about 10 years ago my college age daughter at the time stood in line at a bookstore for hours to get your autograph, so she could make me a Christmas present. It still sits proudly on my bookshelf: your signature, surrounded by quotes (only the positive ones) she took from your books having to do with mothers…Seems I’ve been in love with your words for as long as I can remember, they have enlightened me, uplifted me, enabled me to see that our parents were as flawed as we are. I like to think that whatever imperfections my own parents had (& they were many) are what made me as strong and independent as I am, and I guess I wouldn’t hazard changing the past in any way. In any event, just get some good drugs for your “writer’s cramp”, and I hope you’ll keep on keeping on. I’m writing to Pay Conroy…cool…

  • G T McCully says:

    The Death of Santini- I went to The Citadel to play football, and… I was introduced to The Great Santini and Conrack in the theaters… But, I was given The Lords of Discipline, by the Furman coach on signing day in 1981, when I committed with El Cid. To be brief… I read the Water is Wide when I was lost a year after graduation and I became Graduate Assistant (for Football at El Cid in 1988…) and I earned an MAT to teach at Burke/ Garrett, then began my vagabond teaching and coaching career. I began to coach/ teach, and my role model was my retired Marine coach, and his retired Marine boss. I thought that the Santini approach was the only way to coach. Be firm, be sound, be passionate… don’t worry you will always be right and if ‘they’ don’t get it then ‘they’ are soft, stupid, or lazy… I never stayed more than a three years at a HS…. because of my Santini approach to soft Principals… It took a lot of criticism and rejection to peel the hubris of this onion like personality. To peel an onion like personality, one must find sharp knife. That sharpness comes from rejection by friends, critical analysis by family, and by the rough spots faced in marriage… The 1st step (in my personal 12 step plan) was getting to the question… I knew that the answer was 42 from the Hitchhiker’s Guide, but what is the question… My question came to me two years ago… It took 46 years on this planet to ask the question… What does one do when they realize that they are an unlikable asshole?
    I imagine the The Great Santini, himself, found your book about him… to be enlightening and painful… I look forward to reading his story. I wonder if my path is similar to his path? Your writing is inspiring. The Water is Wide and Teacher Man described my inner thoughts as a teacher. My exterior was shaped by 4 years of Jesuit’s Man for Others style education and then my exterior was sculpted by The Citadel’s Whole Man. I created a wonderful sense of arrogance, that I was Uberman. I am an asshole in recovery, and life is much better, now. It is not as easy to think about others first, but it is healthier. I can not change those that I have hurt, but I can treat people better, today. May the Irish Sun shine brightly upon your back as you write the redemption of the Great Santini.

  • Carol Beede says:

    A heartfelt thank you for the hours of pure pleasure I have felt reading your work. Can’t wait to learn more about the Santini household and the man himself.

    We should all be so fortunate as to have a eulogy such as him. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever read.

  • Mary says:

    Can’t wait to read more about the conversion of ‘The Great Santini’. Your books always entertain & fascinate. It’s a sad day around here when I finish one of your novels. Of course, the same holds true for your non fiction.

  • This is going to sound corney or whatever, but I love your novels…it is almost like you are writing and feeling things I have felt in my life.

    I’m glad that you have helped your “writer’s cramp” and I’m waiting anxiously for your next novel. They have all been a big influence in my life. I can’t explain it, but it’s like your writings tap into feelings I’ve had my whole life!

    Thanks for all of your work.

  • Scott Hansen says:

    So pleased to hear about the new book. Next time your in CHS give a call and I’ll cook up a feast in your honor. It would be such a pleasure to have you as a dinner guest.

    Best Wishes,
    Scott Hansen ’94

  • Diane Russom Harrison says:

    I would gladly read anything you put into words. I cannot get your books out of my head and so I read and reread them again and again. Several are becoming so tattered that I will have to purchase new copies (more income for you, dear author). Your characters haunt me and I want some of them to be my friends and some of them to just disappear but they are all compelling. Keep well my friend.

  • Thomas Holland says:

    Until that date when you decide to abandon this blogging life (or Vlad makes an unceremonious visit to your home), we will appreciate that which you choose to share.

  • Marla Humphries says:

    I just read your blog (agree it is any ugly word) and am excited to see that you are in the process of writing a new novel – The Death of Santini. I most recently read “South of Broad” and “My Reading Life”. After reading them, I just fell in love with your writing all over agin. So, I had to re-read “Beach Music” and then watch “The Great Santini” when the movie came on television. I have read most of your other novels as well.

    I pray that you do not sucumb to a sudden or protracted death any time soon. I (and millions of other fans) would miss you too much! Be well and please keep writing!

  • Karen says:

    This made my whole day. As someone who’s adored your work and hasn’t been able to stop reading til the final page, I now can enjoy these bite-sized snacks and a glimpse into your life. Thank you! KS

  • John P. Lynch says:

    Pat, I’ve loved reading all your books. I’m sure I will love your blogs also. Started my Knob year in The Citadel back in the early 70′s; didn’t make it through Knob Year so it was off to 3 years in the Army. I too had a Dad to please.
    Life has turned out to be very successful for me.
    It would be so cool if they had something out there for all those Citadel dropouts! John

  • I don’t know you personally, but I wish to express my deep love for your words and the form in which you present them to the reading world. You bring magic into my head. Thanks. Forever yours, M

  • Steve Rollins says:

    love all your novels but i am particularly fond of south of broad and beach music. can’t wait for more on the great santini.

  • Carole Goforth says:

    Pat, I am such a fan and hope that the words won’t be silenced with your writer’s cramp.

    I enjoyed reading all of your books, but Beach Music will remain my all time favorite. I have read the actual book 2 or 3 times and listened to the cassette version of the book twice. Frank Muller does an amazing job with your words and seems to feel what you were feeling as you wrote it. I hope you will consider him as the reader for your next Santini book.

    I lived an abused childhood and have few memories of a single mom with too many responsibilities and no money to raise 2 children. She started raising me and I finished, along with a brother 5 1/2 years younger. You can voice pain better than most and still make it so interesting and wonderful to read. Hurry! Can’t wait for the next book.

  • You’re a brave man journaling for the entire world–particularly your relatives–to see. I always tell my students nevert o write anything down that you wouldn’t want your mother to read, but I guess you broke that rule quite a few novels ago, so as my grandmother would have said, “Have at it.” I for one am looking forward to seeing how you resolve your family squabbles and demons. It’s a lot cheaper to blog than to pay a therapist.

  • In correcting my split infinitive, I split my “t” from it’s “o.” Forgive me.

  • Monika says:

    Dear Mr. Conroy!
    I’m happy – your blog is my greatest discovery of few latest months.
    I’m waiting impatiently for the next entry.
    Greetings & kisses from Poland

  • linda lafayette daniel says:

    Mr. Conroy,
    Whatever you do, do not stop writing. You are an inspiration to so many of us. I can say proudly that I am a writer. If you go to my FB page under photos, you can see my articles. Bless the writers, Lord, for they know the true passion of living, loving and frustration.
    Again, thank you for the gift that is you.

  • OH my, it’s too late in the work day. Now I committed my most despised error–typed the contraction it’s instead of the possessive its. I may never leave another reply. I’m twice embarassed.

  • michael stogner says:


    The ‘commie’ still lives. How is Cassandra, see no mention. Eagerly awaiting “The Death of Santini”.

    Love your cookbook — only made a few so far but those were great! Stay ‘cool’ my friend; right now a t’mater sandwich is about the best thing going, followed by a slice of juicy watermelon. Cheers,

    Michael, Class of ’67

  • Shamus Gillen says:

    Greetings from your “other” home beside the Ashley River. I enjoyed reading your first blog installment and very much look forward to the new book. Soon this heat will break and the ‘Dogs will be on the gridiron – hope to see you and Smitty at a home game (if you can get away from work).

    Best regards,
    Shamus Gillen, ’96

  • Violaine says:

    Mister Conroy! You’re one of my favourite writers! Thanks for sharing your experience;only problem is, I already can’t wait for the book, now :)

  • Dawn Dromgool says:

    Pat Conroy will always be my favorite author. His books have touch my heart and given me hope and understanding of surviving growing up in a dysfunctional family. I was trilled to be able to attend a book reading and signing by him in Denver. I anxiously await his next novel.

  • Susan Harper says:

    Thanks Pat! I’ve loved all your books and look forward to reading your journal, as long as your hand holds out.


  • Susan Harper says:

    Thanks Pat! I’ve loved all your books and look forward to reading your journal, as long as your hand holds out. And I am glad we have more books coming!


  • Angelika Burovski says:

    The Great Santini was the first novel I read from you. It was a book that we analyzed in English composition class back in high school. I happened to find the analysis of the book I had made back then. The Great Santini is certainly the most powerful book character I have encountered, his traits and habits are extremely well detailed in the novel. I can’t wait to read the death of the Santini, and I am really happy that the Santini has finally decided to change in real life.

    Best regards from Macedonia,

  • Jay Libby says:

    Looking forward to The Death of Santini! I’ve been intrigued by the relationship that developed with your father that suddenly (seemingly) appeared in My Losing Season and My Reading Life. I’ve wondered about the process of reconciliation and forgiveness(?) and even wrote about my wondering in seminary paper I once wrote.

  • Jerry Wolford says:

    It is with great pleasure that I read a novel by Pat Conroy. Thanks Pat for all the pleasures through the years.

  • Heather Hardy Bryan says:

    I enjoyed reading your blog and will anticipate reading your future books. I have read everything you’ve written so far and each book is a treasure – thank you!

  • Kathy N says:

    Dear Pat, so glad to hear a new book is coming, hopefully soon. I so wish you could use a recorder as there is more in you I would love to hear. So many writers crank out a book every year. I own all your books which has not cost me a great deal of money since you have written so few. You are the most gifted writer of all – seriously. Try to use the recorder! Another adoring fan.

  • Colleen Catey says:

    Looking forward to you r latest book. I’ve read most of them except The Great Santini, so when the new one comes out I will read it first. I listen to your books on CD in the car and enjoy them that way, the accents, the emphasis, the passion. Keep up the good work. Your books are so long that it makes it hard to wait for the new one to be published! My hope is some day to get down to your neck of the world in person instead of “in book”. A lot different history than my Pacific Northwest!

  • Martha H. says:

    So happy you have started a blog! Now we can keep up with you on a frequent basis.

  • Jay Adams says:

    You belong on a ‘blog’…. the blogosphere deserves a measure of Pat Conroy. I will look forward to your rants.
    Jay “Romeo 72′”

  • Hallelujah! Pat, thank you for trying. We simply LOVE you and somehow, I never seem to get enough. I keep this quote above my work desk, written on a piece of old cardboard.
    “Here’s all I ask of a book. Give me everything. Everything. And don’t leave out a single word!”

  • Hey Pat — I’m THAT Rhoda, Brother Tim’s ex-girlfriend…the Tim whose life, as you choose to tell it, went downhill and perhaps even to hell in a handbasket when he left me. That is a brief story, but I consider it your best because I am in it.
    I have a vivid memory of your dear dad and I, standing next to a newspaper article that was framed and hanging in the Atlanta apartment. The article was about the publication of The Great Santini and had a photo of the two of you, together, happy. I’d be so honored to share with you what he told me that day, though I strongly suspect you heard the same story, verbatim, dozens of times.
    So very happy you are writing THIS story, Pat! –Rhoda

  • Elaine Taylor says:

    I am looking forward to The Death of Santini!! I love that you are tying up loose ends. Forgiveness is freedom as I am sure that you have discovered. I feel that it allows you to move forward and to heal. I am so glad that you got to spend time with your Dad loving him. Maybe those memories will sustain you when the others try to rear their creepy little heads. I wish you the best of luck with your “writer’s cramp”. The world is a better place because you have been here. Thanks for all of your books; my favorite is The Water is Wide. I have read it several times. Infact, I have several autographed copies of your books from when you visited Columbia, SC several years ago. It was wonderful meeting you.

  • Dear Pat,

    Thank you for the wonderful writings you have shared with us, your admiring audience. I did a review for your latest book “My Reading Life” sent to me late 2010. I thought you might like some feedback from a fellow reader and fan of your excellent work. Here is the link:

    It is truly a pleasure to read your novels.

    Janete Cabral

  • Roseann Repsher says:

    would like to subscribe to your blog!

  • Stephanie says:

    Good grief! If you read all of the comments by us Conroy worshipers, you won’t have time to use your broken arm to write another word. That would be a shame but, if that should happen, your body of work so far would be enough as it stands. However, every time you write a new book, I am surprised and thrilled to find that you haven’t finished the storyl. You still have more to say to another who was raised in your household. Amazingly, we both survived. Thank you for sharing your miraculous gift. It helps me to control my rage and tears when I think of my father. I’d love to meet you sometime.

  • Cindy Neal says:

    I, too, am one of your hordes of avid readers. I have read everything you’ve written and have yet to be disappointed; I also frequently quoted you (and required reading The Water is Wide) in my classrooms. It is a blessing that you have been able to rectify your relationship with your father, and I hope that other family members will follow suit. Of all the books you have written, my favorites are still The Prince of Tides and South of Broad, although others are close seconds, etc. Reading The Death of Santini will be quite a pleasure, I’m sure, and I’m going to re-read The Great Santini in order to absorb the whole effect. Good luck with your writer’s cramp..Lord knows, I’d cry like a basket-weaver with no sweet grass if the writing world didn’t have Pat Conroy!

  • Kerrie Gleeson says:

    Hello Pat, From me in Sydney, Australia. Have loved all your books. Took a tour of your beautiful south last year just because of your way with words. So glad you are getting on with The Death of Santini. Your family must love you very much, and I’ll bet they are very proud of you. Imagine having their family history completed for them in such a magical and honest way. Thanks to you I am enjoying the delights of more southern writers, but have yet to find one I enjoy as much as you. I’m going to enjoy your blogs.

  • Susan Grilk says:

    Dear Mr. Conroy,
    I don’t believe the frequent idea that writing is something that springs naturally and easily from published authors. However, I often Think that it’s true, especially when I try to put flesh and blood onto an idea and wonder, “What for?”. My eyes sprang open and bugged closer to the screen, when I read “In the late nineties…” and “…incurable neurological disorder….”
    I, too, have physical disabilities that make it difficult or impossible, at times, to type. (Love my Logitech trackball…don’t have to move the device, just a ball beside your thumb.) I hope this doesn’t offend, but I’m pleased to know that I have company. Since your diagnosis, you wrote “Beach Music.” I’m reading it, slowly, and I think, “How did he come up with that?” all the time. It’s nice to know that your physical pain doesn’t overpower your ability or your willingness to write.
    Keep ‘em coming,
    Susan Grilk

  • Casey Smith says:

    I am so glad you have considered blogging. I wait anxiously for you to create your amazing books, and now I have a way to see the magic you create with words on a more regular basis. Thank you, for all you have done and all you will do. Your gift with words have brought so many hours of joy to my life. The best gift my husband has ever brought home was an autographed copy of “South of Broad”. It’s a hard gift to top!

  • Linda Poynter Williams says:


    It’s great to know that I am not alone in my love of all things Pat Conroy.(What splendid responses here to your blog!) This blog is bringing so many of us fans together for you. Can you feel the love??!!! I can’t settle on a favorite book; each time I read one, it becomes my most recent favorite. Your experiences have made you the beloved author you are. I hate your sufferings but I can’t imagine the void in my life without your heartfelt writing. Your words paint pictures that are indelible on my mind and heart. (I recount time by which of your books I was reading during the milestones of my life.)

    Thank you for sharing yourself so graciously with your millions of fans! I met you last fall near Covington, Georgia and watched you sign books and talk to people in line for hours. You are a gentleman and so down to earth. I look forward to your writing this blog and your next novel. Bless your hand; keep it limber!

    Conyers, GA

  • Tina Frazier says:

    Thank you. I became an avid reader because of your books. I simply love everything you write. Can’t wait for the new book so this will tide me over.

  • John Prince says:

    Mr. Conroy, I have only written to two authors in my life, and you were the first (Terry Kay was the second) – that was how much I had been moved by “The Great Santini” and “The Lords of Discipline.” Since you were out of the country at the time that I wrote, your dad responded, and he was very kind to this then-teen filled with angst and anger at my own father – another military colonel – who was much like Santini. I still have and treasure that post card, both because of who it was from, and because of what he represented. Like you, I came to love my father, who certainly mellowed with age and time, and in doing so helped to heal the raw wounds of those younger years. Others have said far better than I could just how wonderful your writing is and why – I will simply thank you for what you’ve written, since I have a sense of where it comes from as well as the guts it took for you to confront and write about the demons of those years. You spoke for those of us who did not, or could not summon the courage to do so, and we owe you a debt of gratitude we cannot repay for being our voice.

  • Rose DeLoach says:

    Hopefully, in this new book you will tell your readers what was the final straw that made your mother finally divorce your father after years of abuse and why did it take her so long?

  • Joan says:

    I loved My Reading LIfe. I love all of your books and read them over and over and share them with my 90 year old aunt who I have introduced to your “Charleston”. I have been to Charleston many times and love it very much. The Great Santini was too painful for me to read.Love, Beach Music, Prince of Tides….

  • Gene Brugger says:

    Met you at a book signing in Beaufort last week. What a great surprise, and pleasure, to turn into an alcove next to a book store, and run into you! You and your wife (she brought you unsweetened iced tea) are lovely, gentle people. I look forward to “The Death of Santini”…so many parallels to my own life.
    Relocating to Beaufort as soon as I can get a teaching job there. Hope to be your neighbor soon!
    Gene Brugger

  • Marlene du Plessis says:

    I am so happy about this, and hope that you will “blog” regularly…for I need to feed on Conroy words regularly or i shall wither away. You are a wordsmith of note, a sculptor of sentences, storyteller par excellence and a master of the emotions! YOu make me laugh, you make me cry, you make me gasp at the way you convey the simplest and the most complex things…..Love you!

  • Julie A. Dickson says:

    I am thrilled to see that you are writing the Death of Santini!
    I have read all of your books, and my favorites are The Prince of Tides, and South of Broad. Your rich descriptions of the south and the characters ring in my ears long after I have set the books down. I do an annual re-read of Prince of Tides [have read it 10 times] and now South of Broad as well [2 times so far]
    One of my greatest joys was when you wrote back to me in 1981, when I sent a poem to you that I wrote after first reading The Prince of Tides.
    I am a struggling poet and writer as well as an avid reader. I count those two books in my top 10 of all time.
    Keep writing and sharing your wonderful words with us!

  • Ginevra Blake says:

    I can hardly wait to read The Death of Santini. Heck, I can hardly wait to read anything you write! I even look forward to the re-reads! Thank you for being my favorite author of all time. Something about the way you string up the words carries me (heart, mind and soul) to all the best places. Sincere appreciation!

  • Dear Pat,

    Thank you for doing this – writing a blog entry. To your point, “blog entry” might be the second-ugliest word to emerge from the wired universe. Come to think of it, “blog entry” might surpass “blog” itself.

    Nevertheless, your fans, of which I am one, are grateful for the updates.

    I hope tomorrow is a good day for your wrists, and that the tape recorder remains on the shelf.

    Jeff Henderson

  • Sheila Reno says:

    Hello Pat…what fun to be able to talk with you. Right now, I am reading “The Lords of Discipline” for the second time. In fact, I have re-read several of your books. I have just finished “My Reading Life” and I just have to tell you that sometimes the words and phrases and paragraphs that you use evoke such an emotional response from me that I often gasp and want to fall on my knees and thank you for such intimacy. When you spoke of “Gone With The Wind” and how your mother read it to you as a child and how that book affected her life, I will never look on that book the same ever again. I can say so much about everything that you have written…I love it all and you are so courageos to open yourself up and share with us. You are truly my favorite author ever. Please, keep them coming. I have followed you from the start and can’t wait to hear more about Santini and how your relationship with your father has resolved itself.

  • Candice says:

    After reading South of Broad, this Yankee is inspired to go to Charleston, especially since my long deceased grandfather was from Summerville and I’ve never visited.

    The Death of Santini sounds fascinating and quite difficult to write, aside from writer’s cramp. Please tread carefully through the minefield of family (I think every family’s history is a minefield!). I wanted to thank you for bringing beauty into the world with your writing.

  • Holly Scheuerle says:

    You are my ALL TIME favorite author! Your writing is musical to me, and I recommend your books to everyone I know that is a reader. I can’t wait to open these newbie’s world to your writing and characters. I love how they too are sucked into to your books and each character’s flaws and strengths.

    In a sense, you have ruined me to many a writers, as they don’t hold a candle to your talent and I have no patience for books that don’t touch me as yours do. I am thrilled you are writing again and will very much enjoy your blog. I’ll take your writing any way I can get it, so blog, sky write, facebook, whatever . . . JUST KEEP WRITING!! (please)

    Thank you for your gifts.


  • hello pat,

    sure you don’t remember me from bhs 1961…I also child of your books…have a freaky compulsion about beaufort etc. where my mother was from..but sure don’t want to be there for very long…reading your books can be painful for me but strangely beautiful..thank you for that. Visited with milton ellis last year….what an experience to renew that relationship…thank you for your honesty in your books and in your life….

  • Thomas Lisack says:

    I have enjoyed all of your books, Mr. Conroy. And I used the film version of “The Great Santini” on a Father-Son retreat for many years when I was teaching high school English and religion. It is “The Prince of Tides” that is the most poignant, though. The reasons are probably similar to your reasons for writing your current book. As my dissertation advisor always said to me: “keep going.”

  • Patti O'Brien says:

    Dear Pat,

    How dare you talk about dying? No, you must write on and on…I believe you to be the best living writer, hands down. The first of your books for me was “Beach Music.” A friend gave it to me, I hadn’t heard of you…and that was it! The way you plopped those exquisite sentences right onto the middle of the page, sentences that would have been set off somehow by lesser writers…brilliant! My dream, as an aspiring writer, a “Pat” and an O’Brien…is to sit at your knee and listen to you talk about writing. So, when your wrist hurts, just talk!!! I wish you all the best, always, Love, Patti

  • Lori Mills says:

    Bottom line dysfunction is everywhere, but no where is it written with more tenderness and humor than in your books…….all of them are my favorites, as is their author. You will be my first blogger that i follow………so make it good!

    Loving your work from a small town in Tennessee,

  • B Flynn says:

    So glad to have found you here because now I have a forum to sing your praises.
    I’ve read everything and covet my hardcovers, some of whom I’ve read and re-read several times. The Geat Santini will always move me to tears as it was my family through and through. My father was a Marine pilot,”Spike” MacIntyre –Bull Meachem in every way.Through your words , his magic and mania came to life and from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for capturing him on paper. Prince of Tides can be peeled like an onion, over and over, with surprises every time. thank you God for sending Pat Conroy to us in this life time. Can’t wait for the new book to come out.

  • Nancy Curl says:

    I am not a fan of South Carolina. Lived in Sumter for a year and taught there. My family and I watched “The Great Santini” together in the 1980′s. All five of us loved it. I became a reader of your books. My parapro, a neighbor of yours on Fripp gave me a copy of The Water is Wide signed by you for my birthday in 2006 or ’07. Thrilled me. You and SC.’s Public television network are the absolute best things about S.C.

  • Rebecca Phillips says:

    Pat, I have loved your work since the day I saw Conrack for the first time. It caused me to read every one of your books more than once and to own all of them. I’ve also heard many of them in audio form and loved them just as much. I’m so happy that you have a Blog. I wish you would write a sequel to My Reading Life and talk about the background for each of your later books.

  • Dominique D says:

    That’s why you disappear on me after “Beach Music”! I did not know. I thought you had decided to live your life instead of writing, and I was ok with it. Am I nice or what? Yes, I did go every other month at Barnes and Noble to see if anything else was coming, and at the end they knew me enough to say: “Nope, nothing from Conroy!”
    I am not a fan. It’s much deeper. You are part of my life, of who I am because of what you wrote, and it better stays that way! LOL!
    Please be kind to your wrist. We need it! And if you have not read the story of Jean-Dominique Bauby “The diving bell and the butterfly”, please read it. Nothing to do with you? Yes it does, when you need to write, you do it no matter how, but again be gentle with your wrist!
    Dominique from somewhere out there!

  • LOL…checking back this morning. I knew it was maybe too much to hope for more within 24 hours. A girl can wish..

  • Enjoyed, very much, “The Water is Wide.” My Uncle lives on Fripp Island and has written a book that is found with yours in the little store there on the Island, “Monk and Me.” He and my father shared many an adventure growing up and I am looking forward to interviewing him in November when I will be on Fripp Island, myself. I am a budding young novelist and hope to glean family insights to help me with my own “family ties” type of novel.

    I know, all too well, the writer’s cramp thing! Prayers for strength for you!


  • Pat Adam says:

    Dear Fellow Pat: My day has been made after discovering your blog. It’s the only one I’ve ever read and i look forward to your posts in the future. Thank you, thank you! Have read every book and look forward to many more. Your number one fan –

  • David Walsh says:

    I was diagnosed with Writer’s Cramp about 12 years. I can write a little holding my pen in my fist. Much more than 5 minutes and my arm starts to cramp. That’s what motivated me into computers.

  • Beverly Brady says:

    I feel luckier than most because I have just discovered you/your books! Bought “Prince of Tides” and didn’t put it down until it was finished! Beautiful, awesome , master of the english language! I will now start with the first and read them all, God Willing!

  • Barbara Decker says:

    Your writing is nothing short of masterful! Prince of Tides is my favorite and I feel like I have lived it because it was written so well. I am the Adult Child of an Alcoholic Parent…my father…so it hit me in a place where I felt noone could know. I was sorely disappointed when Barbra Streisand did the movie and touched only on a small fragment of the story…she missed the whole thrust of the book…that Luke was “The Prince of Tides”! You are a genius with the written word!

    • Bet says:

      You are so right Barbara!! I agree 100% with you about the movie. They left out Luke, the Prince!! The book was so much better. I would hope anyone who hasn’t read the book, doesn’t watch the movie….it does not do the book justice at all.

  • Diane Marie says:

    I discovered your works several years ago with Beach Music- my all time favorite- and am so pleased to know a new book is in the making. Your magical use of the English language is beautiful, the command of the written word is enviable! My hope is that you will find resolve to the many issues your life has been given, and your family will be able to be responsive as opposed to reactive as they identify with the characters in your books- published and “to be published”. Thanks for the wonderful reads!!!

  • CJPick says:

    Have read all your books and my email friends have the Eulogy you gave for your dad. Pure magic. For your blog friends looking for other good Southern writers may I suggest Rick Bragg, Kaye Gibbons, and Connie May Fowler. BTW, I read Cassandra’s books, my favorite is The Sunday Wife.
    Trust the writers cramp is not as painful as The Same Sweet Girls reunions and My Losing Season.
    Thanks for the hundreds of hours of pleasure your writing has brought into my home.

    • Michael says:

      Indeed CJPick, while generally few stand up to Pat’s mesmerizing writing ability I do like those you plugged… especially Connie May.

  • Arizona Anne says:

    A native Arizona got introduced to “Prince of Tides” and knew the smell of a salt marsh through reading. Thank you so for the introduction. After that I just keep on reading everything with you name on it! My husband is a Citadel grad. I was able to “hook” him in the Arizona desert with my knowledge of the institution. We have been to two of his reunions. One of my favorite places on earth is Charleston, SC.
    BTW my favorite book of yours is “South of Broad”! Thank you.

  • Dear Pat,

    In your writing you tell me things that I already know but didn’t know that I knew.
    I can’t express properly how much in love I am with your honesty…I value that above all else. And, of course, your writing is funny and poignant, sometimes both in the same sentence.

    So, thank you for making my own reading life a better place.

  • Erika Lantry says:

    Pat, I have only read your The Prince of Tides so far – several times. It deeply touched my heart, as did the film. I recently added TPOT to my Kindle and look forward to read it yet again. I saw the Movie made after The Water is Wide and plan to get the book.
    I am glad you were able to overcome the condition that kept you from writing to some degree. I am looking forward to occasional blogs, knowing that your re-claimed hands are very precious. (I have some issues with my feet and legs and can attest to my appreciation when they work.)
    Even though I have not read all of your books, I plan to do so in the near future. I came across your announcing your blog on Facebook and am glad I found it.

    All the Best to you,

    Erika Lantry

  • Kem Siddons says:

    Pat – you need to make the trek to Brooklin, Maine and hang out with my dad and the rest of the Haven Colony: Down East beckons to you. Great seeing you last year at the Bookmark in Atlantic Beach for your book signing. Kelby was thrilled to catch up with you as well. Seriously, make it to Maine. Take care. Kem

  • Hyacinth Persad says:

    Dear Pat Conroy,
    I loved South of Broad–it moved me many times to near tears. I am reading The Great Santini–just started it. I am not sure I can describe what I am reading here but I love it. I love the incision and honesty with which you depict day-to-day family life.
    I work as a librarian at the Mid-Manhattan Library of the New York Public Library, and would love to have you give a talk here–your publicist has not gotten back to me, yet. I discovered you through My Reading Life, because I was pulling this title off the shelf for a library patron, saw another copy and checked it out for myself.
    I’ve put all of the other books you have written that I don’t have in my library branch on reserve–please keep on writing.

  • Carole Williford says:

    I have just finished reading The Water is Wide for our book club. This book was a staple in our education program during the time my husband and I were involved in teacher training in the 70′s and 80′s. Do you happen to know what happened to any of the children as they grew up? I guess it is a romantic idea of mine that one of them left, became a teacher, and returned to teach on the island. Thank you for all of the wonderful stories you have given us.

  • Nancy Shalkey says:

    I have loved your books for years. I think I can quote PRINCE OF TIDES verbatim. I reread your books often, whenever I need to ‘hear’ someone who is in love with the wonders of the English language. Thank you for personal and evocative books.

  • Katherine Jones says:

    Thank you for all the joy I have had reading your books- welcome to the world of blogs and I look forward to reading more.

  • edgar dichos jr. says:

    I really love your books, magnificent and very touching.. waiting more books of yours sir Pat. Have great day ahead and Godbless you always..

  • Cindy Elliott says:

    I devour your novels like a ravenous beast. I find myself tearing through your pages all too quickly, always disappointed that I have reached the end. So I read it again. Each time, discovering new revelations and nuances about each character and place you write about. I ache to see the low country that you so lovingly describe in your novels. Please, don’t ever stop writing. The world needs your mellifluous, sonorous, exquisite voice.

  • Cindy Fowler says:

    I have enjoyed all of your books because they touch the very nature of my heart and soul.I always cheer for the underdog, maybe because I am one, too.
    I can’t choose a favorite. They all are great!
    The Water is Wide is still the way of life in our schools today. When will we ever learn?
    Thanks for writing what so many of us think and feel!

  • Deb Dennis says:

    So THAT’S what happened to Henry James! I hadn’t read about his having such a problem. I’ll have to look at his work with new knowledge…but I absolutely adore his “runaway elaborations”! One wonders why he did not listen to his tapes and then record corrections? So sorry you also suffer from the dreaded writer’s cramp. How ironic!

  • Jean Hallford Jones says:

    Yikes! I wrote you a message on your website, not realizing you had a Blog. Somehow I never featured you as a blogger, but I am overjoyed to be connected by the www to your musings and your fans. I didn’t know about that cookbook, but I’m going to get it for my son, who likes to cook. Of course, I’ll read it first, as is our custom.
    Looking forward with great anticipation to your upcoming Santini and wishing I could edit it, as that is my job. I am a writer and editor, a former ESL teacher who has lived in many parts of the world. I first read Prince of Tides on my way from San Antonio TX to Jakarta, Indonesia and nearly missed my connection in LA because I was so engrossed in the novel. Still my favorite.

  • Pat, I just wanted to thank you for your great crab cake recipe (AARP Mag, Apr 2009). It proved to me once again that less really is more. I just shared it on one of my blogs
    ( Keep up the wrist exercises. Old age is not for sissies.

  • Dian S. Barnett says:

    Several gifts have been bestowed on me since I came South after 30 years in Nevada. One of my greatest joys has been discovering and rediscovering Southers Literature. It became my biggest indulgence!

    After devouring Anne Rivers Siddons I came upon your recipe for crab cakes in the AJC and thought,”hmmmmm, he cooks And writes! This is someone I need to check out!” You have never failed to charm and inspire. Charleston is my favorite city of the south and South Of Broad has enriched my experiencing that magical place.

    Thank you for sharing your passion for food and love and laughter and life itself with us!

  • Katy Barnicle says:

    I’m so excited to have found this & truly hope you keep writing here. I first fell in love with you (or should I say your writing?) as a junior in high school. We read your novel The Prince of Tides in my honors English class. Upon graduating from high school & heading of to college to be an English teacher, I returned to your novels. I’ve read them all, watched all the movies, & awaited South of Broad much like my current students await the newest Harry Potter movie or the latest Twilight novel.

    After returning from two weeks in Italy last summer I dug out both your cookbook & Beach Music to reread the parts about Rome. Your recipe for Carbonara is my go to on a snow day from school along with a delicious glass of red wine. Thank you for the best reads of my life. Your prose & descriptions of the sea, moon, and life in the low country have inspired more than one trip for this Jersey girl. Looking forward to reading more of your posts & to your next novel. Thanks so much for all of your inspiration.

  • Ann Henson says:

    Mr. Conroy,

    My love affair with your words, the magic and majesty of them, started more than a decade ago. While Shakespeare has been credited with inventing the human, I credit you with inventing the imperfect human, who, for all of his flaws, is, well, imperfectly perfect. Your work brings me to my knees in gratitude for its beauty.

    I never gave much thought to literacy before reading your work. _Beach Music_ brought a prayer of thanks to my lips, as I had to thank God, my parents and other educators for giving me the ability to read.

    Thank you for writing. Thank you for being.

  • Elaine McKinney says:

    Pat, I love your books. Being raise in the south they are close to my home and heart. I have met so many of your characters in my life and look forward to meeting more. Thank you for making “my reading life” memorable.

  • Nancy Kiehl says:

    Hey Pat,
    Damn you write a good book… words can’t express my gut reaction… I am in the middle of, My Reading Life, and I am amazed at your love of books, your gift with words, the funny recollections of your life and your untimely abilty to make me ball in just a few sentences. I’ve had to think about whether or not to put in the CD (I’m listening to your audio book), and risk ruining my make-up prior to my work day, (tough decision). Awh, the streaks of liner down my cheeks always wins out and I get my tissues ready to soak up any signs of discord on my drive into the office.
    Keep up the good work… praise be to you!

  • sandra dascensao says:

    Prince of Tides and The Water is Wide are favorites. I have a few to go. South of Broad is on the shelf waiting for the time I can savor it. Thanks for so much entertainment.
    I am 50 and have just recently decided to pursue a degree in creative writing and a MFA. One program asks for a paper of my four favorite authors – you made the cut.
    Hope you manage your writer’s cramp – I know that the physical act of writing is the most satisfying aspect… and I will definitely need more books!
    Sandy D

  • ***klinking my fork against my glass**** On here, this doesn’t mean kissing. It’s a call for my words from the author.

  • Brian Butler says:

    Pat: So glad to hear you are writing a new book, and a sequel no less. You and I were born the same day, but I had no feel for you until my younger son put Lords of Discipline in my hand and said he wanted to go to Citadel. Huh? I can tell you that being their from Southern California it was as different as Mars. He thrived, won an ROTC scholoarship, became an Army Captain, served in harm’s way and still has many close friends from Citadel. I think I miss visiting Charleston more than does going to the Citadel. Love the city and the people we encountered. Best wishes to you and, above all, keep writing. I hope you will find another way to tie the Citadel to one of your new efforts.
    Brian Butler
    San Diego

  • Gail Lathey says:

    Pat, it is my unbelievable honor to write to you. Your agent emailed me to thank me for a review of South of Broad which I posted on (I saved the email.) I have read all of your books at least once–no writer resonates so vividly within my mind. Your words are lush and fragrant and evoke all the beautiful mysteries of the South. I live now in WV where I grew up but lived for 30 years in NC where I went to grad school at UNC-CH, and your stories take me there again. So much of my history is intertwined with yours.
    I moved back to WV after a rare neurological condition disabled me. I write stories and journals and immersed myself in My Losing Season before attempting a biographical story of my father’s life, who played football for WVU shortly before you played for the Citadel. He also knows Jerry West Just wanted to soak in your magnificent, razor-sharp words! Thank you for giving us the beauty of your art. I look forward to reading The Death of Santini. Your voice is the one I will always hear as the lowcountry unfolds in breathtaking resplendent fire. I wish you peace.

  • Having just finished The Prince of Tides for the first time and just now starting South of Broad, I googled the author and discovered you had a blog. What a great opportunity for me to say how much I enjoyed the latter book. You have an amazing talent! Thank you for providing your audience with so many enjoyable reading hours. Shiree’

  • Ken Britt says:

    Mr. Conroy,
    It was nice to see you attending Coach Port’s funeral yesterday, and I was somewhat surprised to see my wife chatting with you in front of the church just after the service ended. When she told me the details of your brief conversation, I could not help but laugh. She was one of the few former players wives there yesterday, and she actually asked me if it would be okay for her join me in making the trip to Charleston.
    During my time at The Citadel, we did not have a Boo, (with all due respect to Colonel Dick),…but we did have a Chal Port. And just as you described his love for his players in your book, it was there, even if a player did not understand it or clearly feel this love while playing for him.
    The longer I live, the more I appreciate the moments we have in life, sharing memories and experiences with our friends and family.
    May God smile down on you as you work on your next book, the same way he smiled down on Chal during those many years at College Park and Burke Field, (the football parking lot we used to practice on).
    Kindest regards,
    Ken Britt ’92

  • Greg Hergott says:

    Hi Pat,

    Unlike yourself and unfortunately, I never got into reading most of my life. I am 40 years old now, and a little less than 3 years ago, I was watching the “Jason Bourne” movies, and thought that maybe I would like to read the books. So I starting reading some of Robert Ludlum’s books, and I found that I enjoyed reading, but I wanted to find some novels that were a little more believable.
    I then read several James Patterson books. I started reading everyday, and I enjoyed what I thought were good plots and an easy read, but still these books were missing something “real”.
    Then I found John Grisham. I’ve read almost all of his books, and they have been wonderful. He, in my opinion, is a great story teller.
    But then a friend suggested that I try Pat Conroy.
    I have read “The Water is wide”, The Great Santini”, The Lords of Discipline”, My Loosing Season”, and I am currently reading “My Reading Life”.
    These are the best books that I have ever read. I plan to read all of your books, and I am looking forward to “The Death of Santini”. Once I finish reading your books, I will begin reading some of the classic books you talk about in your book “My Reading Life”.
    Thank you so much for pouring out what’s in you and putting in down on paper for us to enjoy.
    Greg Hergott
    Charlotte, NC

  • Hi Pat,

    It seems we share some of the same paragraphs in life.

    I don’t have writer’s cramp but I spend so much time on the computer that when I do write something using a writing stick it looks like a doctor’s perscription.

    I still think about the south and what it might be like to live there again. Maybe living there when we were young makes us all want to write something? I think about it. My father was also a Marine fighter pilot in Beaufort SC. I still remember that it was hard on my Mom. My birth cup is from a Marine Corps fighter squadron VMF 232. I am in my mid 50′s now and I can remember that we were always moving or suffering the threat of moving….the new kid in school…. Our maid’s name was “Dolly” and I am sure that she could “punch like a man”. I remember collecting pecans, the coarse moss hanging from the trees and the horse shoe crabs that would wash up on the beach….and our mosquito porch enclosed in screens. Then there were the moving days and of course,…… singing “From the Halls of Montezuma
    To the Shores of Tripoli;
    We fight our country’s battles
    In the air, on land and sea;…”
    ….. in the car, uniforms, living in the BOQ in Okinawa, hotels in Toyko, Manilla, etc…

    The Marines life for a kid….I still remember things like landing on Wake Island or sneaking out to the bar in Okinawa and the Marines giving me quarters and nickels to play the slots…going to the Marines dentist without pain killer. …or sneaking out to play baseball in the alley of a Tokyo hotel and riding up and down in the elevator for hours with the elevator guy.

    Sometimes it feels like a completely different life…..and that was just the start…

    Great actor…..How could you go wrong with Robert Duvall?

    I look forward to The Death of Santini and reading some of your other books,

  • Hyacinth Persad says:

    Just finished, The Water is Wide, and just started The Lords of Discipline. Thank you, Mr. Conroy. Everyone here is cheering you on, to write the Death of Santini, and I’ll add my name to that. Happy wrting. Best, Hyacinth

  • Hyacinth Persad says:

    I meant to finish the Death of the Great Santini, not to begin writing it. I’ll need to read My Losing Season and the Prince of Tides, as well, so take your time with the wrist exercises. Speaking of tides, the Parks Dept. re-opened the beaches after the storm, Irene, so I went swimming today, here in the Rockaways, briefly. A lifeguard whistled for me to get out of the water, and said to verify it with his boss who was there with a few other lifeguards. They were busy placing huge seashells that Irene washed up, in a circle, and dressing up a tree stump with an orange tee-shirt and a baseball hat–gosh I hate them.
    Although you dislike the word, “blog” one of its meanings is to post something here, periodically :)

  • tim jones says:

    pat, what a treat. i looked you up on facebook ad saw you started a blog. looked it up and saw you had an unbelievable response the first day of the first blog. wow. fans r us huh?
    love your writing and have met you twice. once in minneapolis when you were booked to speak the day after your father died. i remember your coming to the podium and telling us all the great santini would have wanted you to be there. you spoke of him with affection at that time and i have heard you speak of the turnaround to make the difference you will no doubt tell in true coroy fashion in the new book i am looking forward to it. the next time i saw you wa sin st paul when you were introducing my losing season if i remember correctly. i learned a bunch about you in that book and look forward to learning more in upcoming work.
    sorry to hear about the writers block issues. life isn’t supposed to be fair but does it have to be cruel.
    blog ho

  • tim jones says:

    whoops writers cramp not writers block

  • Barbie says:

    Over twenty years ago, I lived in a small town that had an even smaller library. Since I’ve been a voracious reader all of my life, I visited that library weekly. One week they were having a book sale. You could buy an entire cardboard box of books for a dollar.
    (You didn’t get to pick out the books, you just grabbed a box and paid and hoped for the best) To be honest, I sought a box with nothing but romantic fluff. And most of that box was. There was a paperback novel the size of a Tolstoy book at the bottom of the box, and I ignored it for over a week. When all of the romantic books were read, and I had nothing but time on my hands, I picked up the last and the biggest book. It was the Prince of Tides.
    I sat up all night reading that book….laughing out loud, and crying out loud equally. At five in the morning, I finally finished.
    Never before had I read a novel that was so beautifully descriptive, that I actually felt the characters joys. And their pain. The characters….both vulnerable and fierce at the same time… all of your books live on long after the very last page has been read. Since then, I’ve been singing your praises…….and shaking my fist towards South Carolina when time has gone on far too long between books.
    I want wonderful things for you, Mr. Conroy. A life filled with love, with chubby cheeked grandchildren, with an ocean of wonder for you to live by, but most of all…….I want more books.
    Always a fan,
    Barbie xoxo

    • Hyacinth Persad says:

      My sentiments exactly, and I am currently writing a blog to be published on the New York Public Library’s website, and I am going to have to say, that I, also laugh-out-loud while reading Pat Conroy’s books, and that searing tears also come to my eyes

  • Cookie Eubanks says:

    Mr. Conroy, last night I read a 1973 article “Horses don’t eat moonpies” and having grown up in Aiken in the 50′s and 60′s, I know from first hand expierience that you must have lived next door. Did you ever hit the nail on the head of the Aiken and Valley folk. Thing is, nothing has changed. Just more of it. I was not one of the “DuPonters” but a poor country girl that had to ride a school bus 20 or 25 miles a day (and when I was a Sr. in high school, I drove that bus). The reason the distance was so far was because I lived real close to the Valley and zoned Aiken. My sense of belonging could never decide if it was Aiken or the Valley. Then I married the Valley boy. That was 44 years ago come Oct. 22nd. By the way, I did not know I was poor until I arrived at Aiken Jr. High and someone told me I was poor. Took me a long time to get a grasp on that.

  • Cele Schaffer says:

    I am so happy to see you have added an actual entry to your website as I have stalked it for many years. I read books almost every day of my life and have never enjoyed any book as much as I enjoy your books. My favorite is Beach Music and I have read it each summer the last 5 summers, getting more each reading. I am from Knoxville,TN and was able to see you in Atlanta a few years ago. Bought every signed copy of your books there but unable to to get The Prince of Tides ( I read it every year as well), which is my second favorite. Loved being able to see you in person and so enjoyed your presentation. I am originally from Deerfield Beach,FL so enjoy your cookbook with all the good seafood recipes. I get the family dysfunction as I grew up with alcoholic parents and a sister who committed suicide. So unfortunate to feel close to someone based on the tragedy one has lived through… Anyway- I have the utmost respect for you and your craft. Would love to spend an afternoon talking with you personally (in my dreams!), but since that is not possible I will continue to read everything you have written or has been written about you. I feel honored to have been able to get this close. Thank you for sharing yourself with all of us. Cele Schaffer

  • Elle Ben-Sefer says:

    Dear Mr. Conroy,

    I feel compelled to write to you to express my gratitude for your books. I have read all of them and more than once. You have given me countless hours of pleasure, a taste of joy tinged by sadness, but most of all, overwhelming admiration for your passion for so many things, especially, the written word. Out of all your books, I hesitated until recently to read The Lords of Discipline, perhaps because as an academic (we allegedly know nothing about life) who teaches both nursing and Holocaust studies, I hesitate to read books that deal with themes of bullying and cruelty. They sicken me and I have spent my professional life trying to teach empathy, compassion, and consideration of others. It is an uphill battle and we fail more than we win but we learn more from mistakes and failure at times than the things that come easily. Yet, once I started the book, I could not put the book down. Rather stupidly, I read The Boo after, instead of before, but it gave me the opportunity to peek through a window and see the seeds carefully planted that blossomed in The Lords of Disciple. I am now listening to the book because listening provides another way of knowing your work, particularly in the context of reading The Boo.

    I currently live in Israel and have lived all over the world, been through wars, loss, and witnessed and experienced human tragedies but to read your work still leaves me with hope despite some of the dark themes. Your work leaves me with the belief that there are a small number of people who will always rise to the challenge, elevate themselves above the rest of us, and all too often, never receive the acknowledgement they have rightfully earned. The Water is Wide in particular, but also, your other work, places you in that select group and you have my unbound admiration.

    Mostly, I think of you as Jacob and The Angel because I suspect you too must wrestle with yourself to bring forth these incredible stories out of your soul to share with us. I thank you for all you have given me and so many others who find reading one of the great joys of life.

    Elle Ben-Sefer

  • Gale Reevez says:

    Reading “Beach Music” while waiting to board plane for vacation. Newbern, TN is 20 minutes from my hometown of Hornbeak, TN. That acknowledgment made me smile. The written word is timeless!!

  • Rachael says:

    I can only say Thank you. I have bought many copies of Prince of Tides… passed them out to strangers. xxxx

  • Evie M says:

    Another Pat Conroy fan, just pleased to have a “blog” in which to express my love for your writing…always seem to be waiting for impatiently for your next book.
    Your books & blog are helping me to understand the angst within my in-laws, including their love/hate for my late father-in-law. Otherwise, I just enjoy the story, the words, the humor…Also, I was so happy for you to find Cassandra…sigh, just wish it would have been me.

  • Pat, I’ve read all your books but put off My Losing Season just because I didn’t want to hear about it, but I’m now listening to it on disc. All I can say is if this is all true my heart goes out to you. What a terrible life. And, I,m looking forward to your next one. Please keep them coming.
    John Rasberry
    Charlotte, NC

  • Alison says:

    G’Day Pat!

    I just wanted to let you know that I have really enjoyed your novels. I only discovered them 12 months ago when I came across South of Broad on audiobook, since then I have listened to Beach Music and read Water is Wide both of which I have really enjoyed. The tempo of your novels is lovely and your descriptions of the american south is awe inspiring. I feel like I have travelled to Yamcraw, Beaufort and Charleston and have them listed on my dream trip of the Great Literary America.

    Thank You for sharing your life, you sound like a really nice man.

    One of your Australian fans,


  • Every time I find myself in an area that even remotely resembles the Lowcountry, whether in South Carolina or the marshes of Maine, I am reminded of you. Thanks for your many books. I’ve enjoyed them all.

    Jackson Dunes
    Pug At The Beach
    Delray Beach, FL

  • Hyacinth Persad says:

    Hello, Pat Conroy,
    Here is a link to my blog about your books via the New York Public Library’s Website: Thank you.

  • Caren Witt says:

    Over the last month, the universe has put the name of Pat Conroy in front of my face so frequently that I felt compelled to check up on my favorite author. I have written on the website in the past, traveled to Beaufort, SC just to be close to the environments that had come to life through the pages of his books, and traveled back again when I received word that he would be signing copies of South of Broad at the wonderful little book shop on Bay Street. (Such a sad day that the shop has since closed) Mihai had enjoyed one of my entries on the web site prior, and had made arrangements so that we were introduced to Mr. Conroy, and my copy of the book was signed to me, much to my great delight; completely my set of autographed books. I love that they are signed, To Caren, for the love of…….Mr. Conroy did seem to think we were a bit crazy to have flown from Nevada to Beaufort, just to meet him!

    As I stated, this month has been Pat Conroy month in my life. To begin with, every summer I choose one Pat Conroy book to reread; 2011 has brought the Great Santini back into my life. Then, just a few weeks ago I was attending a picnic when a friend started speaking to me about a new author she had discovered, and that she just loved his book South of Broad! It took me all of a second to go into great elaboration of all things great and wonderful about Pat Conroy and shared what book I thought she would enjoy next. At this point I literally left the picnic we were both attending, and ran home to get her my copy of Beach Music. She was surprised to see I was handing her my hardback copy and was worried that it was one from my “signed” collection. I assured her that is was the “pass around copy” and to not only enjoy the actual words written, but also the dog-eared, sand-impacted, well worn quality of the book!

    To move this story along, I am in my senior year at the University of Reno, NV (a late bloomer, pursuing my degree in Social Work at the age of 51) and this week one of my professors assigned a psychosocial assessment paper to be done, based on our viewing of a movie. I was thrilled to see not one, put two films based on Pat Conroy novels in my list of choices; The Great Santini and The Prince of Tides. Since I have just read the Great Santini again, I purchased the movie on-line and will be writing my paper on it. (As a devoted “Conroy Groupie”, I went ahead and ordered Prince of Tides and The Lords of Discipline to view as well!)

    This brings me to my encounter with all things “Pat Conroy” yesterday. I was attending the convention for the National Association of Social Workers in Northern Nevada and was listening to a wonderful presentation by keynote speaker, Claudia Black, Ph.D., MSW on the subject of, Social Work Comes Face to Face with Addiction in the Family. When she was highlighting the effects of parents’ choices and actions a on their children, can you guess who she quoted?

    “I don’t know when my parents began their war against each other, but I do know the only prisoners they took were their children”.
    ~Pat Conroy
    ~The Prince of Tides

    That was the last sign from the universe I needed to get on Facebook and the website and look for any up to date information on Mr. Conroy. I was so glad to see this “blog” and wanted to again declare my devotion to this amazing author! I think the world refers to us as “groupies” and I wear this word like a badge of honor! I wish Mr. Conroy only good health, and am so looking forward to additional books!!!!

    We will be making our third trip to Beaufort this December, adding in side trips to Charleston and Savannah, and with a determination to experience the marsh by kayak and introduce our 16 year old to the South!

  • Sherrie says:

    I have just finished “Beach Music”….am literally empty….will all your books make me cry?

  • Caren says:

    Over the last month, the universe has put the name of Pat Conroy in front of my face so frequently that I felt compelled to check up on my favorite author. I have written on the website in the past, traveled to Beaufort, SC just to be close to the environments that had come to life through the pages of his books, and traveled back again when I received word that he would be signing copies of South of Broad at the wonderful little book shop on Bay Street. (Such a sad day that the shop has since closed) Mihai had enjoyed one of my entries on the web site prior, and had made arrangements so that we were introduced to Mr. Conroy, and my copy of the book was signed to me, much to my great delight; completely my set of autographed books. I love that they are signed, To Caren, for the love of…….Mr. Conroy did seem to think we were a bit crazy to have flown from Nevada to Beaufort, just to meet him!

    As I stated, this month has been Pat Conroy month in my life. To begin with, every summer I choose one Pat Conroy book to reread; 2011 has brought the Great Santini back into my life. Then, just a few weeks ago I was attending a picnic when a friend started speaking to me about a new author she had discovered, and that she just loved his book South of Broad! It took me all of a second to go into great elaboration of all things great and wonderful about Pat Conroy and shared what book I thought she would enjoy next. At this point I literally left the picnic we were both attending, and ran home to get her my copy of Beach Music. She was surprised to see I was handing her my hardback copy and was worried that it was one from my “signed” collection. I assured her that is was the “pass around copy” and to not only enjoy the actual words written, but also the dog-eared, sand-impacted, well worn quality of the book!

    To move this story along, I am in my senior year at the University of Reno, NV (a late bloomer, pursuing my degree in Social Work at the age of 51) and this week one of my professors assigned a psychosocial assessment paper to be done, based on our viewing of a movie. I was thrilled to see not one, put two films based on Pat Conroy novels in my list of choices; The Great Santini and The Prince of Tides. Since I have just read the Great Santini again, I purchased the movie on-line and will be writing my paper on it. (As a devoted “Conroy Groupie”, I went ahead and ordered Prince of Tides and The Lords of Discipline to view as well!)

    This brings me to my encounter with all things “Pat Conroy” yesterday. I was attending the convention for the National Association of Social Workers in Northern Nevada and was listening to a wonderful presentation by keynote speaker, Claudia Black, Ph.D., MSW on the subject of, Social Work Comes Face to Face with Addiction in the Family. When she was highlighting the effects of parents’ choices and actions a on their children, can you guess who she quoted?

    “I don’t know when my parents began their war against each other, but I do know the only prisoners they took were their children”.
    ~Pat Conroy
    ~The Prince of Tides

    That was the last sign from the universe I needed to get on Facebook and the website and look for any up to date information on Mr. Conroy. I was so glad to see this “blog” and wanted to again declare my devotion to this amazing author! I think the world refers to us as “groupies” and I wear this word like a badge of honor! I wish Mr. Conroy only good health, and am so looking forward to additional books!!!!

    We will be making our third trip to Beaufort this December, adding in side trips to Charleston and Savannah, and with a determination to experience the marsh by kayak!

  • Diana Christman says:

    My you have many late bloomers, such as myself. Thank you Mr. Conroy, for you are addictive. I Love the picture of you on what looks to be a deck, (South of Broad) with that moss hanging down in the background. Well, just wanted to say Thank You!

  • Kathryn McClelland Bojanowski says:

    Mr. Conroy,
    I read all of your books at least twice. Once because I love the story, and the second time because I love the language. I used to try to read slowly, savoring and considering the flow of the words, the beauty of your writing. I am impatient I guess because I would find myself so eager to follow the characters and their stories that I would not take the time to enjoy the work in its entirety. So now I read it twice.
    A friend, knowing my appreciation for your work, pointed me to “My Reading Life” and I have just begun to read it. I am taking my time, like a slow amble through the woods on a crisp fall day, and not sprinting through. In your description of your mom, I have found my own mother. I am so very grateful to you for the gift you give me each time you take pen to paper.
    God bless


  • Darling Pat.

    We need a long overdue catch up. The Wasatch Mountains are stunning right now. Come for your birthday and open arms…
    Love and light,


  • Ken says:

    To: Mr Conroy

    Love your work. I was telling my father-in-law about the Marine happy hour antics at Beauford. He said he remembers your dad, and could finish every story I started to tell. He was stationed there in the early 60′s. Anyway, you have lots of fans. I love your dialog between characters.

  • Diana Cormier-Andrews says:

    Dear Mr. Conroy,
    Where have you been all my life? It’s an awful pick-up line, I know, but it says exactly how I’m feeling after my marathon reading of “My Reading Life”.
    Reading became an addiction the first time I was able to read “Run, Spot, run.” in first grade. My introduction to the library when I was eight set that addiction in concrete. My friends tease that if I could have any wish granted it would be to be locked in a bookstore alone, but a library would do just as well.
    I have thoroughly enjoyed your book which I came across while browsing the new books section at the library. I’m sorry to say that I haven’t read your other books, but hope to soon remedy that gap in my reading.
    I love your use of the English language. So many times I wanted to call my friend Lorraine and say “You’ve got to listen to this!” Over and over I kept thinking I love how he says this. So much so, that I plan to buy the book, so I can re-read it and take notes.
    There are books you’ve read that I’ve read — ‘Lord of the Rings”, “War and Peace”, “Gone with the Wind”–to name a few. Your experience of them opened them anew to me. Books I haven’t read — “Look Homeward, Angel”, ”Deliverance”, “South Moon Under” — are now on my list of “have to read” along with “The Water is Wide” and “The Great Santini”. I’m so looking forward to reading your words again.
    My favorite part of this book was the anecdote of your short lived poetry fame at The Citadel. Thank you for putting into words what so many under-dogs have felt towards the bullies in their life. Thank you for being their sacrificial lamb.
    I’ll be looking for you on the bookshelves. Wishing you continued success.

  • walter says:

    Dear Poppy. I love that name for a father’s whose daughter “woo” I taught. Happy to hear your writing about your dad. As you know Pat I played b-ball for him in the eleventh grade at Matthew C. Perry High School Japan where he was also Operations Officer for Iwakuni USMC Air Station and we too had our losing season- 16 games in a row against mostly Japanese teams. I knew him only as “The Colonel” and I have stories of his madness and genius. Then to teach your girls at Paideia and to become a friend of yours, playing b-vall under the lights on Wednesday nights, courses at Emory; then you gave me a manuscript of the Great Santini and then I met your dad at your house some ten years after Japan. He looked me and sad, “Where you from son?” I said, “Sir I lived in several places but grew up in Japan.” Silence. He looked me in the eye and said, “Where’s your brother Johnny?” “What?” you said. “Those boys were $%^& gunners,”The Colonel said. “Lost sixteen %^%^& basketball games against the Japanese!” Truth is stranger than fiction. Love to you. Walter

  • Lee Iacovoni Sorenson says:

    Dear Pat,
    Just finished My Losing Season, which somehow got by me. We share a passion for basketball and language, although I am but a female spectator and reader. I find myself reading and rereading lines, paragraphs, pages, just to enjoy an almost sensual pleasure evoked by your words. Like many others who have posted comments, I had the pleasure of meeting you in Rome long ago in the garden of St. Francis Internat’l School, attended by my two young boys and your step-daughters. Alas, I was too shy to strike up a conversation about your writing, but we did chat a bit and you told me your daughters were there against the will of their birth father. Funny what sticks in your mind. I, too, await the Death of Santini, especially because I, too, was abused by a sadistic father, step in my case, who in later years became my best friend. I do have a question for you. How could you state in MLS that you “loved” Mel Thompson? How many lives was he allowed to ruin, how many young lives did he blight with his verbal abuse, ruining budding athletes and ball players who well might have gone on to greater things? I loved the rest of the book and your sentiments, and viscerally shared many moments, painful or not, in it, but that feeling of yours I could not identify with. Is it, perhaps, the last quote of his about you, the one you want on your tombstone? That he finally acknowledged your contribution to the team?
    Continue your fine work, writing (perhaps with your other hand). You still have so much to say.
    Sincerely and gratefully for so many hours of reading pleasure,
    Lee I Sorenson

  • Jo Rougasche says:

    Dear Mr Conroy, I live in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia and have never travelled to the USA. However, through your books I know that I could feel right at home if I visited. The power of your descriptive words transport me to your world. My youngest son is a ‘lost boy’ whose life was affected by a military father. He lives in an old caravan beside a river and is an avid reader of your books. I await each new Pat Conroy novel with great anticipation and have never been [or even imagined I would be] disappointed. You are a great writer and I consider myself most fortunate to have found The Water Is Wide in a little bookstore many years ago. That is when my love affair with your books took flight. With warm regards, Jo

  • jayne G. Allison says:

    You have an insight into Southern women that impresses even a southern woman. You wrote about MY mother and you wrote about ME. You know the South like I do, and are able to put those thoughts into beautiful, truthful words. Thank you for all the hours that I spent ” feeling” my life. Looking forward to your next book. I wish you well, sir..

  • Beth Knallay says:

    Just finished reading South of Broad. I’m sad that I’m done reading it. That’s how I feel whenever I finish one of Pat Conroy’s books! My favorite was Prince of Tides, however, South of Broad is probably my second favorite. Such a great sense of humor comes through and it makes me laugh out loud and stays with me for days. My husband and I are now planning a vacation to Charleston because the books….the stories…the words are drawing me there.

    Thank you, Pat Conroy, for your amazing writing!

  • Heidi Sonnekus says:

    Mr Conroy

    I’ve read most of your books over many years in different circumtances. Just finished Beach Music for the third time – and I am amazed at how someone so alien from who I am (Afrikaner girl from the Southernmost tip from Africa) seem to be able to articulate thoughts and feelings I was still struggling to recognise.

    I have to introduce my children (18, 15, 11) to your work: shall start with the movies this December….

    Warmest regards!

  • Rose DeLoach says:

    I hope in this new book we find out what incident or what was “the final straw that broke the camel’s back” that made your beloved mother leave your Dad. How old were you when this happened and how about your siblings? Where they adults when this FINALLY occured? How did you you and your siblings feel about the divorce?

  • Leslie says:

    Thank you, once again, for your career as a novelist. Your novels came along at a time of great personal confusion and they helped immeasurably. Now your work is part of my class in Southern Literature and I am happy to re-read the books that gave me such illumination in a dark time.

    The Death of Santini sounds like another advancement in your literary career, one I am glad to see. You wrote so effectively from the point of view of a youth, I was a little concerned how you would manage a maturing narrator. Now I realize my fears were groundless. You and your family have my best wishes. As Always.

  • Tom Alston says:

    You’ll be happy to know that I keep re-reading (and buying) your books! I got hooked when I read “The Lords of Discipline”, then read everything you wrote. I feel such an affinity to your main characters. I learn something about myself each time I read them, and my vocabulary has grown!

    Thanks for sharing your life in fiction, and I look forward to the new book, fiction or not!

  • Diane Breeden says:

    I, too, am a Semper Fi Brat. Born in Camp LeJuene, lived in California for 7 years, then moved to Beaufort. Talk about culture shock. None of the friends I wrote to in California could believe what I was living thru in SC from 1963-1966. However, once that Carolina low country gets in your blood, it it in your soul forever. In 1966 my father retired from the USMC, and moved us to Maryland. I have not been back to SC since, but I still consider it home. When in College, your book “The Water is Wide” was required reading. Most of the students believed it to be mostly fiction. I could only laugh at this, and relate my own experiences while living there.

    It is hard to believe that I walked the same halls you did. Had the same teachers. I look forward to reading more of your books. As an author, I can say, you have become one of my favorites and look forward to reading anything new you write. I am also sorry for the childhood you endured at the hands of your father. I was lucky enough to have a father (noncom) who was proud to be a Marine, but also proud of his children, and worked 3 jobs to give us everything we ever wanted, within reason. He was my hero, and even after his death, he is still the yardstick I hold everyone I meet to.

  • David J. Murphy, III - Blessed Sacrament and Kiwanis Little League - Arlington, VA says:

    Hello Pat,

    A long time since BS and Little League. Last Christmas I got your “My Reading Life” and saw you wrote a poem about Dad (p 296) when you were taking a course with James Dickey. If you have a copy I’d like to give it to my nephews and nieces as they’ve always wanted to know more about him. I tried to get in touch with you last Christmas through your website but to no avail. If this doesn’t reach you then I’ll try to get a contact number through Joe Monte. In return for the poem I’ll send you a team picture with Rob Ronka, Bill MacGillicuddy, Hank Gordon et al. Dave

  • Susan Davis says:

    I dated a Citadel cadet from 1954 until his graduation in 1958 and then married him. We spent 30 years on active duty. After 51 years of marriage, he passed away in 2009. I loved all the weekends in Charleston – hops, dress parade, chapel – all of it. I read The Great Santini on a vacation at Topsail Beach, NC – read it straight thru the night and then passed it on to Ron who read it almost as quickly. It is our all time favorite. I have read and own them all – even The Boo. Thanks for giving us such good reading. I look forward to the new Santini one – maybe I can like him! Best wishes to you, Pat. I’m glad The Citadel opened its arms to you and welcomed you back into the fold to speak at graduation, etc. Maybe one day I’ll be at a book signing and can meet you. Susan Davis, Kempner, TX

  • Rae Hamilton says:

    Dear Mr. Conroy: An avid reader of you other books, I just finished My Losing Season, which I enjoyed greatly. I was relieved at the end of the book to find that you finally loved both your parents. I would welcome a book that fully expanded on the change you brought about in your father and the way that change further shaped you. An intriguing circle. Your father was strong enough to handle the glare of the spotlight you trained on him. Perhaps not everyone could, so go easy on your sister. With kindest regards and thanks for the many hours of pleasure and drama you have provided me.

  • Pattie says:

    I am thoroughly enjoying “My Reading Life” right now, and I wanted to say “thank you” for this love letter to reading, writing, and teaching.

  • Kathie Stehr says:

    I love your writing and was sad to hear that you suffer with “writer’s cramp”. I am probably telling you something you already know but this disorder is a dystonia. It is a neurological disorder and is treated with botulinum toxin injections in the areas affected. I have cervical dystonia and Botox is very helpful with the pain and spasms. There are several famous musicians that suffer with what you have and Botox has allowed them to continue to play. Please check out and perhaps you could be helped also. I want to continue to read your delightful writing plus help your suffering. All my best.
    I am reading “My Reading Life” and it is wonderful. Guess I need to try War and Peace again.

  • Diane Assalone says:

    Pat Conroy:
    Thank you, and I love you.
    You have “accompanied me” on my journey and I am the richer for it.

  • miriam gillies says:

    I recently obtained your audio SOUTH OF BROAD-did not want to stop driving-what a wonderful novel. You covered so many aspects of our lives and since I have traveled to South Carolina for the past twenty years I could easily identify. Unfortunately, our library doesn’t have any other of your books but I know my library in SC will have them. What a wonderful gift you have thank you

  • Anne E O'Connor says:

    It would be easier to just call you but this will have to do. I’m just finishing SOUTH OF BROAD and finished THE WATER IS WIDE a few wks ago. Last year I read MY READING LIFE. I’m a retired teacher from Boston. Started teaching in 68 in the inner city and retired in 05. I was a human relations facilitator during our difficult desegregation process and taught in the high school with the most guns and knives. I realize you, too, are an idealist and romantic. Reading the above first 2 books brought me joy and memories fond and not so fond of my years as a teacher. The North and South are different but the human soul is what counts. Thanks for sharing yours.

  • Julie Neaderthal says:

    My husband and I returned our sailboat to Beaufort this fall/winter and she is docked at Lady’s Island Marina, her bow facing the Lady’s Island Swing Bridge and downtown Beaufort. During the weeks we have stayed on her, we have felt the Low Country seep into our soul and are aware of how much we will miss this area when we head to the Chesapeake this spring. It is a magical place which delights all our senses, even the smell of pluff mud at low tide. I have spend these months re-reading your books and I have to say that my understanding is deepened and much more poignant when I read them in the place where they were born.
    Julie Neaderthal
    Nashville, TN

  • Katie McGuirl says:

    I met you in the lobby at The President’s Quarter’s in Savannah after you spoke at the literary festival. I gave you a copy of Walter Issacson’s book on Steve Jobs. I was in my hotel bathrobe after retiring early from walking all over Savannah with two girlfriend’s. The Golden Girl’s trip to Savannah. You teased me about being in my “Victoria Secret”. The bathrobe hid all my flaws for not being a model for that company. How friendly and easy it was to talk with you about my hometown of Coral Gables where you spent some time writing. Also my time at East Tenn. State where I was a freshman. I am anxiously waiting your next book. John spoke with us at the B&B about your exercising together and how much better you felt when you did. Hope you get back to it. Your fans want to see the next book and the next book to follow that. I am going to stay at The President’s Quarter’s next year and go to the festival again because it was definitely a peak experience in my life. Hope to meet you again (you might not recognize me without my “Victoria Secret” robe on). But I will recognize you!!

  • Pam Barham says:

    Your writing transports your reader to the places the story takes you to and the characters lives feel as though they become a part of you as the reader. I to am happy to start to read one of your books and even though the need is to finish it as to know the ending, you don’t want it to end. I think I have all of your books and have read Prince of Tides at least 2 times and not only saw the movie – I have a dvd of the movie. It makes the reading so much more interesting if you have been to a location yourself or in the same situation yourself. Sometimes life does not seem quite ok but that is life and whatever it is it is what makes us who we are. The Great Santini helped me to find humor in circumstances that at times were difficult. My favorite is Beach Music and I purchased it in a neat book store in Beaufort. I have the book as well as a tape. I have played the tape so many times I have worn it out. Please consider putting it on CD. I travel in my car alot and love listening to CD’s in my car. Thanks again for your stories and never quit writing and making every day life a book worth reading. Thanks Pam.

  • Valerie Bufkins says:

    Dear Pat Conroy, Thank you for your book “Beach Music”. I enjoy your style of writing very much. Even though it’s hard to hear of atrocities up front and personal, I still feel priviledged to hear them. I too have suffered some atrocities as a child and can relate to peoples feelings and reactions. I would like to tell you about something else that happened to me that has made all the difference in the world. I think it started when my mother would say to us “God has something better for us”. That always stuck with me.

    My grandmother would take us to Sunday school and church and I would hear the gospel of Jesus and His love. Then when I was about 13 years old and was going to youth group, (mostly for meeting boys!), one of the girls in the group asked me if I believed Jesus was the son of God, and I said yes. Then she asked me if I believe He died on the cross and rose again from the grave and again I said yes. So she said when the pastor asked if anyone would like to receive Jesus into their hearts I should go forward up to the pastor and receive Jesus. So I decided I would do that, in front of a whole lot of people! When I stepped out into the aisle to go forward, something came over me and I broke down and cried and cried. Now, looking back, I know that when I did that the Lord Jesus Himself came along side me and put His arm around me and walked down that aisle with me. And May I tell you, He’s never left me. I’m sixty eight years old now, married and have 4 children and 12 grandchildren.

    I’m telling you all this because in your book there was really no real resolution for all these people. I’ve had to go through all the “growing” and “learning” experiences they went through also. But I also have the resolution. You see the gospel of Jesus is that there IS a God and He DID make us and we sinned and got separated from God. He loved us so much that He sent His son Jesus to pay for our sins. God is holy and He can’t be friends with unholiness. There had to be a payment and Jesus dying on the cross after living a perfect life paid it in full. Anyone who believes in Him will be “saved”, accepted by God and in full relationship with Him. There’s so much more to tell but this is the Crux of the matter. I know it’s true because it happened to me and is still happening to me.

    So please look into this so you can give your readers a resolution. And His plan is for a future of eternity with Him in a perfect place. What we suffer here cannot compare with that. Yes, this world is filled with demonic activity and there is much suffering, but it won’t always be like this. PLEASE Mr. Conroy, read the Book of John in the Bible. It tells all about this. I pray it becomes real to you so you can make it real to other people in your writings. Your talent is wonderful. Thank you for sharing it.

    Sincerely yours,
    Valerie Bufkins

  • Yvette Garrett says:

    Hello Pat,
    I am a proud wife of a Citadel grad(class of ’90), married at the Citadel Chapel in 2000. Upon finishing your book, The Lords of Discipline, I can honestly say, “I get it now.” I have a new appreciation of the experiences of what my husband endured during those informative four years and the bonds of friendship that were established during that time.
    Now, when I attend those infamous reunions every five years I will look differently at these guys with a whole new respect. Their strength and endurance truly impresses me and reminds me of the immense resilience of the human spirit.
    Thank you for opening my eyes and allowing me to experience in a small way a part of my husband’s life that is so important to him.
    Your writing style and descriptive words draw me into the story in such a way as if I am living it. Also, I would like to mention the audio version of your book has caused me to fall vicariously in love with Will McClain, that Carolina drawl is immensely endearing, & charming. :)
    I am looking forward to experiencing many more of your other books.

  • Don Griffith says:

    My daughter and I have become big fans…my daughter just completed her KNOB year at The Citadel…like you she is an athlete at The Citadel(soccer)….when she signed with The Citadel to play soccer I went out and bought The Lords of Discipline so she would know what she was getting into. I just finished reading My Losing Season…I loved it. Thanks

  • Joyce Ann Turner says:

    I have just finished reading The Water Is Wide. Although I have seen the movie several times I had never read the book.. As with every nonfiction I read I always wonder at the end of it what happened to all those people. I wonder if you formed life long relationships with them, if any of the children you taught ever left the island, and most of all what the island is like now some 40 years later. Anyway want to thank you for the great read and plan to read all your other books soon.

  • Kim - Folly Beach, SC says:

    Hi…as are so many, I am anxiously anticipating your next book in which The Great Santini is once again the main character. In the meantime, I’ve been listening to the audio versions of your books, which is an entirely different experience…..but one I’ve come to love. My very first audio book was “The Water is Wide”, which I listened to as a clever way to get my pre-teen sons to check off one of their summer reading books on the way to our family beach vacation — coincidentally, on Fripp Island. They and I both loved it. I’ve since listened to all of your books on tape — except South of Broad, which I haven’t found yet in the Charleston Library.

    Even after having read and re-read all of your books many times, having them read aloud seems to lend new meaning and impact to your stories. Now that I know that your narrated “My Reading Life” yourself, that will definitely be my next book on tape!

    Write Fast!

    Folly Beach, SC

  • Nancy Nichols says:

    Just finished reading “Military Brats” by Mary Edwards Wetsch. Your Introduction was profoundly affecting as was Mary’s book. Raised in the “Fortress”, my journey of self-discovery began with the movie version of the “Great Santini”. One of four “brats” raised by an Air Force pilot, we watched it with amazment – our life in technicolor! Your story and Mary’s book have put paid to my belief that only we lived that way and showed me that my adult confusions about who I am and just how growing up military has informed and shaped my life in ways I never before understood. It has been a relief to know that I am not alone. I am one of a huge tribe that survived the good and the bad of a childhood that no civilian can ever understand. Thanks for opening all the windows and doors to the “Fortress”!

  • Deb Hannagan says:

    Mr. Conroy~ I have read every one of your books. Recently, while recovering from surgery, I “listened” to My Reading Life on cd. How extraordinary to hear your voice. I am now rereading The Prince of Tides. I can still “hear” your voice whilst reading this novel. This adds yet another dimension to your books. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  • Jeanne Ann Walter says:

    I re-read Prince of Tides every few years, too, and make your crab cakes frequently. I’m from Oklahoma, and you write Southern crazy better than anyone I know. While in South Carolina, we visited a plantation, and in the preserved slave quarters was a “throwaway line” stating that the Slave ladies shared a birth control method with the white owners’ wives in secrecy OKRA! I can’t find any info about this anywhere, and a yoga student of mine(another avid fan) suggested that might be a tidbit YOU collected in your many travels through time and space. How about it? Prove your Southerninity, Pat. I hope that, if you don’t know now, you will be curious enough to find the answer!!! Waiting for the re-born Santini!

  • Mark Murray says:


    I’d like to pick your brain (without being a pest) a little regarding your thought process when you were writing Chapter 34 of The Great Santini. When Bull experiences double engine problems in his F-4 and decides to ditch instead of risking collateral ground casualties, did you do so with the intent to make this a moral issue. The reason for my question is that I’ve been writing a non-fiction book where the opposite moral imperative happened. The pilot ejected and the aircraft killed several people on the ground, while the pilot survived. One of the victims happened to be a friend.

    Anyway, I would be most greatful if you would respond with your thoughts about this dilemma.



  • Linda says:

    Thanks for every word, Pat. Truly. Also thanks for making me the best crab-caker in my family.

    I will be first in line for your latest if you will tell me just one thing: Is it safe to fry and freeze your crab cakes, then defrost and re-fry a week later? Fresh lump crab is available here only on Thursdays, and I want to serve on Thanksgiving.

    (I’ll also be first in line if you don’t answer.)

  • Katherine Barton Leckie says:

    I am at home whenever I read your books. I was raised in the many houses of an Army Brat. The Colonel seemed to settle more into the ARMY that the south, but my mother held on to her “southerness” as tight as she could. She never let go of Bennettsville, and her brother and cousins that went to the Citadel, and that social hierarchy of a small southern town. I never lived in the south until I was 16, but I was sent to Bennnettsville every summer of my life, until my grandmother died when I was 17. My “nowhere” accent stuck out like a sore thumb, but since all the kids were “raised properly” , they played with me, anyway.I never thought of myself as a southerner, even though my mother continued to try and mold me into one.
    My mother died last April and I found myself re-reading all your books because they seemed to bring back times and places that were comforting to me. Your characters and descriptions of places were reminders of people and places that had played important parts in my life, many that I tried so hard to push away in my youth Thanks for bringing me home every time I need to go there. Maybe I WAS raised properly!

  • Sherry Szejk says:

    I just tried to watch the Great Santini! Somehow, I can never get past the basketball scene because it reminds me of my life with my father. I literally have to leave the room. I am recovering from the abuse my father subjected upon me, my mom, and my little brother. I should say that I am 47, a college graduate, and the mother of a knob at the citadel and a daughter at UNC.
    The abuse I endured has made me successful and resentful. I am no longer bitter and have forgiven my father to the best of my ability. However, I am forever scarred and throughout my life I have felt like a flawed individual who constantly is seeking a so called normal life. My question for you is: Will I ever really be able to overcome my neediness? Will I stop seeking approval from others? Is it possible to ditch all of this or am I doomed forever?

  • Pat,
    I am two years your senior and just beginning my study of “southern man” after reading “Freeman” by Leonard Pitts and finally realizing that damage was wrought by the institution of slavery at both ends of the whip. I won’t go all gushy on you but years after reading “Prince of Tides” I rediscovered you with a passion after visiting Beaufort last month. I marveled at “The Water Is Wide”, “The Great Santini”, “The Lords of Discipline”, “My Reading Life”, and am now having multiple epiphanies as I read “Beach Music” while watching coverage of the massacre at Newtown while all your other books lie waiting on the table before me along with “Gone With the Wind” and “Look Homeward Angel”. “A Place on Earth” by Wendell Berry also awaits with Faulkner and Tennesee Williams on order.

    As you might see from much of my grown up reading has been non-fiction and few fiction authors have gained my trust. Now you are enthroned and I would appreciate any pointer that you might give me to other writers who could help me in my quest for a better understanding of homo australis.

  • Adam Shaw says:

    Re-reading BEACH MUSIC during the wet difficult days of Christmas near a soggy lake under French mountains. Echoes of well loved places, smells, lights and silhouettes to the south, when young a swift and immortal. Grazie. Strains of departed and departing families, too… Damn. For this, and all the other books read and admired, my gratitude.

  • I love southern literature, and you are my favorite modern writer because of the beauty of the language as you use it and your use of paradox. I use My Losing Season in social work class. I want to tell you and readers about our book of memoirs, The Maid Narratives: Black Domestics and White Families in the Jim Crow South. This book contains narratives from women of the Great Migration from Mississippi to Iowa and by southern white women who grew up with maids in their home. Info. at: and The Maid Narratives Facebook.
    An article on one of our narrators at:
    Thanks for your interest. There is plenty of paradox in these stories.

  • bonnie says:

    are you finished yet? i cannot wait any longer. my husband died in august 2010 and he too had the great santini as a father. i am looking forward to seeing how he could have turned his life around. i love all your books especially the prince of tides, not a big fan of the movie though. should have been the prince of babs.
    please let me know when i can start looking for your newest and a house in south carolina!

  • Sandra Dunleavy Banko says:

    I am reading again “My Reading Life” to do a book review for my Museum Book Club on Mon, January 28, 2013. I have loved your books since my introduction to you through “Prince of Tides.” After reading “Prince of Tides,” I sought family counseling for reccuring nightmares which I came to realize were really childhood memories. I credit you and your outstanding novel and the many you’ve written since as well as my superior, compassionate therapist for whatever sanity I maintain to this day. My mother considered herself a southerner and my father was a yankee (mother’s term). Your stories have solved some of the mystery of my childhood. I enjoy writing short stories, memoirs, and some poetry. Your writing is a touchstone to which I can only aspire. You tell really great stories, Pat Conroy, while celebrating the glory, beauty, and power of the English language. Thank you for sharing your life and your writing.

  • Matt Nilsen says:

    I was pleased to hear that your work on the new Santini book is complete. Another dose of insight will be healthy for all of us parent–military or not.

  • Judi Slote says:

    I just gifted a hardback copy of Beach Music to a co-worker who is going through some rough family times. It is my favorite book of all time, it surpassed Gone With The Wind when I closed the back cover. I prize the first edition copy I found in a small bookstore in northern Michigan. Your writing flows like the lives you portray in your books and brings joy and sorrow intermingled in every chapter. I cannot wait to read Death of Santini. Thank you for creating such grand literature.

  • Anne says:

    How can I thank you? We have our own story to tell, but I wish you would tell it for us. Of-course in so many ways you have. I just have always wanted to meet my other brother, you. If you ever come to Memphis, give us a ring. You know there’s nothing like southern hospitality.

  • Jenny says:


    Do you hand-write or type? I’m wondering if “writer’s cramp” also plagues typers….

    PS – I LOVE YOU!!!!

  • J.P. Cunningham says:

    Pat, during the past five years, as I studied personal remarks by a variety of authors talking about their childhood and reading and development toward writing, I loved comments by Eudora Welty, Flannery O’Connor, and others. I especially enjoyed the little book of notes from John Steinbeck to his editor, with John writing them each morning in 1953 (during the creation of EAST of EDEN) not as a journal but as his daily jumpstart into writing. I dearly loved reading every “conversation” with Wendell Berry. But I’ve never enjoyed any of this more than I have this weekend in reading My Reading Life, by you. “I grew up as a word-haunted boy,” you said. And so did I, although nowhere nearly as word-gifted as you. Write forever. David Cornwell, in England, recently turned 81 and yet writes prolifically each and every year. Makes you look like a youngster at 67. Keep at it. Jim

  • Brian Walker says:

    Hi Mr Conroy,
    I just finished your book South of Broad. I cannot tell you in words the emotions and responses your book brought to my heart, You have such a gift for the written word. It was a powerful story where I laughed hard and cried harder. I have not enjoyed a book this much in a long time. I am only sorry it took me this long to get my hands on it. I live in Columbia SC and I love this state and this city but you have started a love affair for me with the “holy city” of Charleston. I wish I were a low country boy. What a rich heritage and what amazing adventures could have been mine for the living. I grew up in Africa and have no regrets about that because it had its own heritage and adventures, but I would love to fish in the salt rivers and creeks of the magical low country and I would love to learn how to throw a cast net. Perhaps I will some day. I am anxiously awaiting your next book. Can’t wait to read it.
    Thanks for sharing your gift with we of the written word.

  • N. Bruce Walko says:

    Dear Pat,
    Having spent four years in and out of Charleston on submarines during the 60′s, I find your books capture the true spirit of both the old and new generations of the area. Prior to my marriage we had first a “slaves’ quarter” apartment at 20 South Battery and later a bachelor beach house (lovingly called OBLIVIAN) on the Isle of Palms. In fact, we were “famous” for our Friday night and Saturday night parties (frequently attended by a few Citadel Cadets lucky enough to get off campus). Beach Music is a special favorite.

    Whether one was attending a tea hosted by a “South of Broad” native Charlestonian, or at the Merchant Seaman, 300 King Street, or other popular, marginally legal, drinking night spot, your novels completely describe the atmosphere of the times and found a way to my heart. I especially like your descriptions of life on the surrounding islands. My wife was one of the very first white teachers to teach in an all black school on one of islands largely populated by direct descendents of the slave era. Thank you so very much for bringing warm memories to a grateful reader.

    Very best regards,

    Bruce Walko

  • J.P. Cunningham says:


    After I’d finished reading “My Reading Life”, I had to stop and catch my breath after absorbing all the information about how much you had read and absorbed throughout your short life…or at least within the short part of your life developing into a brilliant author. The most important thing that occurred to me? You branched out so much beyond the South, and even beyond the United States—not only into England and France and Russia (with help by translators like Constance Garnett and others)—but also ventured into South America—into some of the finest literature of the second half of the twentieth century within the Americas, with the help of brilliant translators into English like Edith Grossman, Magda Bossin, Gregory Rabassa, and few others so magnificently gifted. Not bad for a kid who went to schools like the ones you attended. Your mother, and then another key person or two, coached you pretty damned well, didn’t they?

    So are you actually a poet? Well, maybe not, according to your own definition. But then you’ve had sense enough to dive into and to appreciate and to absorb the work by people like Neruda, Borges, Berry, and so many other brilliantly gifted poets in the Americas. Their gift to you involved the fact that you then turned toward such a loving lilt of language within your own eloquence in fiction.

    You got it, Big Guy. What a gift to you by the magical realists…to the point where you could recite the entire first page of “One Hundred Years of Solitude” as an example of how best to start a novel? What a gift they (and Wendell Berry) gave you in terms of bringing lost generation(s) into today to the point where both people today and yesterday blend together into one piece of humanity within fiction to the point of living still among us…and teaching us everything that we need to know or consider. Not bad fella, even if that were to be all that you will do.

    I wish I had the same absorption rate that you do for reading, grasping and internalizing the very best of literature, understanding why literature itself matters…to entertain and to enlighten.

    J.P. Cunningham
    author of “Somerset: the novel”and then also “The Emerald Amulet: a novel”

  • DAVID JORDAN says:

    If you never write another word the rest of your life you will still be my author hero.
    We crossed paths several years ago at the little grocery store near the marina on Fripp Island. I was too taken aback by the chance encounter that when you spoke and I spoke it was all I could muster at the time. Our Fripp days are over now but it is a great memory. I am a retired Presbyterian minister and so have time to read now for pleasure. Have read all your books except for The Water is Wide. God Bless David Jordan

  • Jessica Cianci says:

    Pat Conroy,
    I don’t know if anybody ever reads these things but I have no idea how else to get in touch with you. Your website says you are working on a deadline and can’t be contacted so I am just going to try. I’m writing about your sister. For our senior year we are permitted to write a research paper about any author that we chose and initially I was sure I would write about you. Your work has always fascinated me and I read the great santini to my mother. As I read more of your work I have been drawn to your sister. Her portrayal in the great santini and the prince of tides was a tantalizing glimpse of her psyche. Now I am writing about her and I cannot find the right sources to do her justice. I have been reading The beauty wars and interviews with you where you said that she put beauty in her poetry but none of the war. I want to know the rest and see what she left out. And it seems impossible to find other reviews on the internet. Your fame has obscured my view and I can’t find anything out about the woman who has so captured my attention. Please, if you can find the time, give me an idea of what your sister was like. I don’t want to misrepresent her, I just want to understand and properly express her where she seems unknown. Thank you, if you ever read this.
    Jes Siena Cianci

  • Debbie Phillips says:

    Hello Pat,
    I just finished reading My Losing Season. It was so moving and full of many life lessons. I’ve always enjoyed reading your books and have read all except The Boo.
    You won’t remember me, but we met in the summer of 1977 at Rabun-Gap Nacooochee School where your daughter Jessica was a camper at Camp Howard. You had brought her to camp on opening day. Having read The Water is Wide, I was awestruck at meeting you. My future husband and I were counselors/teachers at the camp, and I have a photo of Jessica, my husband, and me (or the back of me) standing around, waiting for the bus to take us on a field trip. I thought of this photo when, in your memoir, you mentioned your stepdaughter’s birth, her name, and her age at the writing of the book. If you would like a copy of the photo, I’ll be glad to email it to you. I look forward to reading The Death of the Great Santini and perhaps hearing from you.
    Deborah Tagalos Phillips

  • Carolina says:

    I’m reading South of Broad-just because I miss the south and I love your books. Nice website!

  • Bob Murphy says:

    Thank you for all the kind words you have written about Dave Murphy. Last night was devoted watching the MLB home run derby with my 12 yr old son. A wood carved Kiwanis team picture from Four Mile Run sat iin starke contrast to something resembling my own Center theater.


    Coach Murphy

  • Patti says:


    My kids knew how much I loved your books, and whenever the phone would ring they would holler, IT’S PAT CONROY FOR YOU, MOM!

    Now that they are grown, they have discovered how beautifully you write, and know that MOM knows best.

    Thank you for providing me with many hours of enjoyment. (I’m glad you are still alive, so I can tell you!)

  • Martha Rachels says:

    Mr.Conroy, I have been a fan for many years. My favorite book is Beach Music. Once a year I read this wonderful funny, touching book. I love all of your books, but for me this book touches me in my heart. Growing up in Georgia Tybee Island was our beach. I am looking forward to Death of Santini. God Bless. Marty Rachels.

  • Ann Roth says:

    I am new to your books–am currently reading South of Broad and I love your writing style. I read Lords of Discipline as my first because my husband was at the Citadel for one year and I wanted to know what it was like there. It was raw, but I really enjoyed it. Looking forward to the next one!!

  • Sara says:

    Hi Pat, needless to say I love your words. I want to ask a question. Where can I find the complete poem Tom was reading to Savannah while visiting her in the hospital. As with everything else you write this is so beautifully written. The last line goes, down they went as up we grew. Thanks for any help you can give me on this.

  • Marie Duess says:

    I have just returned from the International Women Writers Guild conference, and one of the things we were told was to blog and to visit the blogs of authors we love. First stop: Pat Conroy. I have loved your books since I read the very first one back in the nineties The Water is Wide…then The Citadel…Prince of Tides…and so on and so forth until I’ve read every book you’ve written. I have a complaint, though. It takes too darn long between each new book, Pat. I want two or three a year. Oh, but would I really enjoy them if I had that many so frequently? Yes, I would. I would never be able to get enough Pat Conroy.

  • Elizabeth R. says:

    The first book of yours I read was The Prince of Tides, and since then, I’ve restrained my reading to one or two books of yours a year. I do so because I know once I finish the last book you’ve written, I’ll feel profoundly empty and lost, the way I feel when all great novels end. I’ve yet to read The Great Santini, because I’ve been terrified that when I’m done, I’ll never find anything else that moves me as much as your writing seems to. To stall this inevitable pain, I’ve resorted to reading novels by authors described as “The next Pat Conroy” and these easily fall short of the greatness of anything you’ve written. Today, when entering my local Barnes and Noble, I saw an advertisement for pre-ordering your memoir. I became so excited I started banging on the window and jumping up and down to the embarrassment of my boyfriend. I’m sure that’s why most of the employees are currently starring uneasily at me as I write this. I just wanted to thank you for giving me one more book to look forward to. Something about your writing inspires me, and I’ve been dreading the day when I have nothing left of yours to read. Thank you for delaying that horrible feeling a little while longer.

  • Dan Glass says:

    Good grief,Pat!
    If they only knew the real you!

  • Jack Douglas says:

    Happy Birthday, Pat. And thanks for timing ‘The Death of Santini’ release for my upcoming ‘Olive Harvest’ trip near Lucca (just kidding). I grew up reading Thomas Wolfe, Flannery O’Connor, John Steinbeck and Ernest Hemingway, but have not read all their works. However, I have read all of yours and each one is my favorite, until the next book is written. Your cook book inspired me to try some of your recipes and I’ve loved the end result of each. Thanks for dedicating your life to such elegance of written word. I’m not sure there’s a literal comparison, but as I anticipate the taste of fresh pressed Fall olive oil from Lucca I’ll be anticipating my first taste of words in The Death of Santini.

    • Pat Conroy says:

      Jack (if I may),
      This is Claudia who helps Pat with his cyberspace endeavors. I don’t usually ‘butt’ in but I could not help noticing your anticipation of “the taste of fresh fall olive oil from Lucca”. That is an incredibly tasty oil, I know how they make it, been there… then fresh crusty bread and a chunk on Montelban (my current love!) makes a day’s end heaven… and don’t forget the good Pinot Grigio.

      • Jack Douglas says:

        Hi Claudia. Thank you very much for your kind reply. When My Reading Life first came out I had just returned from there and sent Pat a small bottle to him via a book store in Beaufort from which I received an autographed copy. I didn’t get a response, but assume he received it. On this trip I’m taking an extra suitcase just for the purpose of bringing some tins and bottles of oil back. If you would send a mailing address to my email I’m happy to bring back a bottle for both you and Pat and mail it when I return. I have not heard of Montelban, but will definitely seek it out.

  • Jeanne Smiley says:

    Good Morning Pat. I am a new reader to your works and can thank a fellow Alexandria, Va friend, a former singer and teacher Mike Boran, with enlightening me to your stories. Of course I loved Prince of Tides but had put reading on the shelf during my working years. I can’t believe we never came in contact as I had a brother who played at the basketball court you described to a T at Fairlington. I grew up in Alexandria and attended St Rita’s for piano lessons, even though I was a “High” Episcopalian at the time. Just finished The Great Santini on Monday and came to your web site in time to find out I had missed your interview with Charlie Gibson. Amazon was kind enough to get the Death of Santini in the mail the same day and I have not gotten a thing done this morning. So sad to realize that your Dad did not give the flight jacket or roses to you or your sister…I am a romantic at heart. I don’t usually write to authors but felt we must have a connection as you lived on Culpeper St and I live in Culpeper, VA. I still have family in Alexandria and would love to give you a grand tour if you are ever back in the Blessed Sacrament area. Notice you will be in Philadelphia in Nov and will I try to connect with you then. As I was giving out treats last evening, my mind kept racing back your stories as I had never had given much thought to the family influence we assume was normal. I was dying to grab a bite of dinner, but felt the obligation to stay at the door with sweet treats, as I remembered that my Dad absolutely forbid Trick or Treating when I was growing up. Maybe you were one of those kids that came to our door ??? Have a grand tour and keep writing. You are wonderful at it…you are not suppose to end a sentence like that are YOU? Best wishes, Jeanne Smiley

  • Jack Douglas says:

    Ciao Pat e Claudia,
    I’m just starting the book and as you saw I read the prologue after tasting the first pressed oil of the season. Already, I’m intrigued. Claudia, no one knows what Montleban is here. Would you mind sending a Facebook message explaining what I’m looking for? I’ll look for it and of course enjoy it as I continue to read! It’s an unusually warm and beautiful November in Lucca . Tomorrow we’ll go to Pietrasanta for and aperativo in the Piazza, read a little. Search for Montleban if I know what to look for.
    Grazie Mille !

  • Jack Douglas says:

    Olive oil frantoia! Found it north of Empoli!!

  • Jack Douglas says:

    I finished ‘The Death Of Santini’ last night. I laughed some, came close to tears. And am in awe that you survived such trauma as a child and became the artist you are. This writing took me on a personal adventure with some people I knew and places, Sand Mountain where my father was born and is buried . The scenes and some people in Beaufort include places I’ve been and people I knew. But, how you write, words you select and how you construct sentences remind me of Wolfe and Hemingway. I’m so hopeful more will come from you.
    Many others have commented about their favorite work of yours and I have two favorites, Beach Music and South of Broad.
    Again, thank you for the pleasure you bring to me with your works.
    Best regards , Jack

  • Brad says:

    Mr. Conroy,
    As long as you can hold a pen, write. No one tells a story like you. I’ve read everything you’ve written at least once and recommend you to all young readers who seek my counsel. When my youngest decided to be a teacher, I bought her The Water is Wide. She changed her major!

    I’m halfway through The Death of Santini and can’t put it down.
    I hope to say hello and shake your hand when you’re in Raleigh next month. Thanks for your courage and honesty, qualities that are rare in today’s authors.

    • Mary McMahon says:

      Hi Pat,
      Following your presentation at the Philadelphia Free Library on Nov. 5, I was the silly woman who set you up for a kiss (which honestly wasn’t my goal, though it was fun and I was later reluctant to wash my face, LOL). You may recall that I said meeting you was “akin to meeting Jesus Christ,” the same remark I made, perhaps more appropriately, to flutist and old-country Catholic James Galway upon meeting him when he appeared with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Yes, that remark led to a kiss. But while your writing is truly a miracle to behold, and your way with words something to marvel at, it has never been reported that you can walk on water. None the less, I was as pleased to meet you (in the flesh) as I might be if I were to meet the Man of the Gospels.

      I’m a fan from West Virginia, and I came to Philly upon the invitation of a friend (my photographer that night) who lives NW of the city. We loved your presentation and could have listened for hours. Your sense of humor certainly belies your life’s tribulations, though, obviously, humor has surely helped you though some difficult and heartbreaking times. I’ve been a Conway fan since reading “South of Broad,” the beginning of my Conroy fetish, and I’m proud to say that I have introduced your books to several other friends. I’m always at a loss when I’ve read a last page. “The Death of Santini,” which I’ve just finished, was an engrossing, though painful read, and a generous and heartfelf memorial to your father. Yes, love can conquer all.

      As a freelance journalist, I must type with great speed in order to commit words to paper before my thoughts escape me. Thus, it is difficult to imagine how you are able to keep a thought or phrase in perspective, to say nothing of the patience it must take, to wrote whole novels in long-hand on long legal pads. Amazing!

      Tonight, I will plunge a second time into “The Prince of Tides,” picturing Barbra and Nick as the main characters. I loved the book and the screenplay which you co-wrote with Barbra. What a high pleasure that must have been.

      Best of luck to you, Pat, as you live a loving life with your Cassandra. And, as we might say in West-by-God Virginia, keep them books a-comin! I look forward to every one.

  • Lorraine Callison Watson says:

    Dear dear Pat. I would like to sit on the beach with your lovely wife and my lovely husband-one of seven Catholic children who was a point guard the year Cardinal Newman won the high school state championship in 1970- and share tales of Gene Norris. My aunt, Eugenia Callison, married Robert Houseal Norris, one of Gene’s uncles. I was sitting 2 chairs behind you at Gene’s funeral and choked back heart wrenching sobs at your brief eulogy and when Ruby Norris spoke moving poetry. I was also fortunate to be able to meet you when Gene arranged for you to give a talk at his church and saw your father’s eyes turn glacial when I playfully saluted him. My mother died on November 8, 2013 after battling Alzheimer’s for 15 years. Your new book is giving me distraction and comfort. I’ve been up all night reading it. Could we possibly get together next summer. I know Elizabeth’s children and distributed treasures from Eugenia’s estate to them. And proudly bragged about our children, adopted from China….My father only trusted Dr. Long, Sr. to care for him during his long bout with heart disease. We love Sandy mother’s poundcake! Should you find yourself free during Summer 2014 I would love to tell you stories from the Norris family while watching the waves. Now….I am on page 357….back to the book. Wishing you & Mrs. C comfort, peace, and love; 803-772-1759

  • Dear Mr. Conroy, I just finished The Death of Santini and wanted to say thank you for, once again, writing a book so riveting that it was very difficult not to read in one sitting. As someone who is not without a book, both I and my family consider you to be one of the finest writers of our time. You have expressed family angst in a way that no one else has had the courage to do. Thanks again, Nancy

  • Why does my comment need moderation?

    • Pat Conroy says:

      This is Claudia for Pat Conroy…

      The reason we need to moderate the site is because of the TREMENDOUS amount of spam we unfortunately receive on a daily basis, 52 spam messages today alone. That is what we mean by “moderating” the site… if we did not do this Pat’s site would simply collapse beneath the weight of these cybercriminals. Here below is half of one of today’s spam message. I hope you understand:

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  • Jack Douglas says:

    Ciao Claudia,
    It feels empty having finished ‘the Death of Santini’ , however I’ve had success with discovering Montlebano! Somehow this brings the experience of reading the book full circle. You ‘ll be pleased to know I was given a small glass of freshly pressed single variety olives, Montlebano oil , still warm , to taste prior to purchasing. It’s so delicate ! In a way it’s like unsalted butter compared to the salted butter, Lucca oil . The single variety as a matter of speaking may be compared to the one and only Pat Conroy whose pen communicates his essence!
    Grazie Mille, Jack

  • Jama Hoffman says:

    Lee is deeply engrossed in The Death of Santini, stopping every now and then to read me an excerpt that delights him, unable to believe the continued coincidences he finds with your life and mine. My grandfather was much like yours and I have Holtzclaw’s in my mother’s family, so he is hoping we are related!! I am practicing uncharacteristic patience and allowing him to read your latest work first. I will savor it over Christmas. Thought about you this summer when we celebrated our 40th anniversary in Italy, falling in love with it as you did. Hope this finds you well and writing.

  • Rosalyn H. Martty says:

    I have been in love with you all these years just from reading all your books, Sorry Cassandra and my husband) and from what a great writer you are. I feel as if I know you very well. I have actually been to most of your book discussions..on the mall in Washington, DC. for Mrs. Bush’s literary program..saw you and your wife Cassandra King, then after we moved back to New Orleans, I have been to see you about two or three times at the Garden District Bookstore. Also I went to your wife, Cassandra’s discussion of her book, “Moonrise”.
    You are a brilliant writer to express yourself so well in your books, and you have a phenomenal use of vocabulary. Much of your books have a lilting description of all of your “places” Fripp Island, the food, the places. We can lose ourselves in your description as if we have been there, and have known these people. Not many writers have that ability. I even went to Fripp Island when I embarked on a trip from Rehobeth Beach, Delaware all the way down the coast to Charleston and Savannah. My goad was to visit every beach road along the way, and stay on the beach every day. When I was at Fripp Island, I know it had to be my overactive imagination, but driving down the main road there, imagining what house you might live it, I thought I saw a mman who resembled your father, Col. Don Conroy..and that has been a full image I live with of Fripp Island.
    I have read all of your books, and just finished “The Death of Santini”..with that you came full circle..answering so many questions I had over the years about various books and individuals in that. I am going to read it again to get the full impact of everything. That was a masterful book..I know you must be really proud of it.
    You have had so many adversities in your life, and you overcame all of them, and emerged a much stronger person than you were before. I am glad you were able to reconcile your animosity about your father, and the two of you were able to come together as friends…and that was to large degree by your actions. I think in one of your books you said, “There is nothing you’ve done you can’t be forgiven for” or something like that. I know that meant a lot to him at the end, and he should have known all along that you were an admirable son.
    So, Hail Pat Conroy..this was a final “coming home”..and we loved it!

  • Doug Massey says:

    Pat: I just ordered The Death of Santini. I have never read your books though I’ve seen three that were made into movies. In reading the prologue to The Death of Santini, I realized that my own father is much the way yours was. I didn’t think there were many people out there who got it worse than me. But, you did. I am publishing my debut novel, Chicken Legs, in about a week on Kindle KDP Select. It is Young Adult. Like your own stories, it is fiction but much of it is autobiographical. Like you, I went easy on the main character’s father, although I’m sure he won’t feel that way when he hears about it or reads it. In my opinion, it was the emotional and psychological abuse that far outweighed the physical (which was considerable). I live with my eighty five year old father (a former Navy chief) and my eighty year old mother (a native of Ireland and still beautiful). Just like my two brothers who do have kids, I don’t beat my thirteen year old daughter. I have an advanced degree in English and have always preferred the classics. I am only now discovering Denis Johnson. Besides Johnson, Cormac McCarthy is the only other contemporary writer I have read. But now I’m going to read all of your books. Every one. Much like some of your siblings, I became very self-destructive for many years. That’s why I am only now embarking on a writing career. Just in reading the prologue to The Death of Santini I can see that my style and imagery were stunted by those many years of dissolution. But, better late than never. I, too, grew up with a Santini and I marvel at the magnitude of his retrospective falsification and the justification he clings to when he does acknowledge violent, damaging episodes in our household.

  • Kathryn K.Tetterton says:

    I just finished reading the last line of The Death of Santini……Wow! Pat Conroy, bless your heart. As ever, your loyal fan, KathrynK. Tetterton

  • janet lipp says:

    As usual I couldn’t put your latest book down until the last word. Coming from a “not quite as violent” father, I KNOW you didn’t make up your childhood. Who would ever want to create something so shameful and painful?

  • James Marfcum says:

    Mr. Conroy, My wife and I are prolific readers and spend most of our evenings with our noses in a book. I am now reading “The Death of Santini.” I read “The Great Santini” many years ago and just recently re-read it in preparation to reading “The Death of Santini.” My wife and I spent many hours visiting Charleston, SC as her brother has lived there for the past 30-35 years. We love walking along the Battery and looking at the old homes that front the harbor. We enjoy photographing the ornate designs in the gates, fences and balconies as we take a leisurely stroll. This fall we visited The Hunley display and as we stood on the platform and looked down into the tank that houses the sub I tried to place myself within that deathtrap and wonder what it was like to be a part of something that was so short lived but became a wonderful part of the history of the civil war. I also begin to think about many of the historical novels that I have read and thought the Hunley would be a great subject for a this type of novel. I have not done any research on the Hunley so there may already be a novel based on this historical event. Looking forward to your next novel and wish you well.

  • Kerry Haygood says:

    I am sadly almost finished with your new book. Once again, your words draw me in like a moth to a flame. I grew up as a military brat and also a Roman Catholic (12 years of catholic school) – so much of your book hits home to me.

    One of your stories about the Citadel brought home a story I wanted to share. One of my dad’s tours of duty was Deputy Commandant at the Naval Academy. His time there ended with a call in front of congress where my father shared his feelings about plebe hazing – he called it a cancer on the academy…those words pretty much gave him his next command which was in Viet Nam. He, like you, felt hazing did nothing to the integrity of the midshipmen – and I believe, his words did nothing to change the “good old boy” system.

    I have enjoyed reading all the comments people have posted and feel a companionship with your other fans in their words. I always list you as my favorite author…

  • G Darrell Russell Jr says:

    Pat, your eulogy of your dad, reprinted in “The Death of Santini,” was absolutely brilliant. It contained as usual the lyrics of your command of language, perfect insight on the personna of Santini, the hero and father, and also humor. God bless you for sharing it.
    A fellow Irish Catholic, parishoner of everyman’s Cathedral

  • Rob Pedano says:

    Mr. Pat Conroy,
    When “The Great Santini” (the movie) came out, as I watched, I thought I was watching my life as child flash before my eyes. I actually had the same stuff happen to me. Dad was also a Marine whose house was built around a Marine regimen of discipline. Dad wasn’t a fighter pilot like yours but he was and is the most ferocious and respectable Marine I have ever met. I was tortured with basketballs, footballs, and baseballs. I slept with the football whenever I fumbled. Basketballs bounced off my head. I was the catcher of my little league baseball team and Dad would throw balls at me until my hands bled. I never wanted to go home after a fight I lost for fear that it would be worse with Dad. One time, I lost a fight, the last fight I ever lost, and Dad made me fight the kid until the kid couldn’t fight anymore. At one point in my youth, I thought that the corner of the room was my own space since I had occupied that space more than any other place in the house. My younger brothers went through similar learning tactics. My Dad is my biggest hero. It was tough growing up in that atmosphere being afraid of the one who was supposed to protect us from the world. I didn’t figure out that he actually was protecting us from the world until I was out of the house for good. I am just like my Dad, all his traits passed on to me. He did prepare me for the world through the discipline of a marine and I am thankful for that; I am not a wussie and I have a great work ethic.

    After I saw the movie, I called Mom and told her all about it and told her that she should watch it because it was Dad and it was us. I have always loved that movie. Now, much later in my life than when the movie came out, I am in my senior year at USCA to get a teaching degree. During this last semester at USCA, I have read probably 50 books, something the library can attest to, but they were for the many research projects that were required. This has been one of the toughest semester since I have been in school because of all the reading and writing I had to do. I probably would have quit because it was so difficult but this voice in my head kept saying, “you are not a quitter, you are a Pedano and Pedanos do not quit.” My Dad always said that I was air-born, that I was bound to the blood, guts, and sweat way of life. So, I hung in there, it paid off and it shows in my grades. The funny part of all this is that my mom, after all this reading I did last semester, sent me a book for my birthday, “The Death of the Santini.” I couldn’t put the book down. It is the only book I have wanted to read out of the 50 books I did. I was consumed by it as it brought my own memory of childhood to the surface. Seems like we have much in common in how we were treated as kids and adults by our parents. On the other hand, I came to know my Dad to be one of my best friends by the time I joined the U.S. Air Force as a jet mechanic. However, Dad was still the same person with same Marine attributes when I was in my 40s.

    Dad and I went hunting for a week in Maine. We got out of the truck to hunt deer and I got my gun and started off into the woods when I heard Dad say where is my gun. I turned around and told Dad that I cleaned his gun for him the night before and he said he always left it in the truck so he wouldn’t forget it. That’s when I busted Dad. I said what kind of a Marine leaves his gun in the truck and doesn’t clean it. He said the kind that hasn’t fired it yet. I said okay what kind of Marine leaves his house without his gun…you know the this is my weapon bullshit. Apparently, I could still make this marine furious so I offered my gun to him. Stubborn as hell, he refused so I had to drive an hour back to get his damn gun. We wasted half the day, and the rest of the night he blasted me for forgetting his gun. My father in his age has become the family strong hold but he still sits in the car, mad, waiting for everyone else to get their acts together, and we all know that if it has been too long that he waits that we will here about it whether we want to or not.

    I had a love/hate relationship with my Dad for much of my younger years as he did with my younger brothers. When I grew up, I could see why my dad was the way he was. It was never to hurt us although it did. It was to make us as strong as we needed to be or what he felt we needed to be. I am very thankful for my Dad and my Mom. I also have a distance between my younger sister and me. We do not see eye to eye and I can not even explain why except for the fact that I was not there for her growing up because I was on my world tour with the Air Force. Anway, I had to write on your blog because I was so enthralled with your book. I laughed and cried, not something a marine’s son is usually willing to admit. Your book took me through emotions that I thought I had left behind. But, it made me love Dad even more as I understood even more about him. Hey pal, your book took me on a transcendental trip and that is what art is all about. Now, I plan on reading ALL of your books and can’t wait to take another trip. From one brat to another, Semper Fi, Pat.

  • Robert E Owens says:

    Just finished my Christmas present,The Death of Santini, and hope that Vlad The Impaler relays my comments to my favorite author. I am the proud product of a seriously dysfunctional family that laughs out loud at the most morbid passages of Mr. Conroy’s books. I was a golden boy that had to assume the role of the most responsible adult in the family from about the age of 6. I was a premed student from first grade on and was accepted to Medical school at age 19 after two years of college. I would discard all of the accolades to be a successful writer and may someday complete a novel that is still languishing on an old hard drive. it is quite intimidating reading Pat Conroy’s Cistine Chapel prose when my writing is a Paint by Numbers river scene.

    At my stage of life and practice, I have the luxury of being able to spend 45 minutes with just about any patient shooting the breeze. One young 92 year old retired Marine was one such recent patient. He never talked to any of his family members about his experiences in the Pacific in WWII until his daughter encouraged him to spend two sessions with Steven Ambrose in New Orleans. I told him of a recent visit to the WWII museum with my favorite uncle, my deceased Dad’s younger brother. My Uncle related what he knew of my great Uncle Robert Lee Zuber’s island landing experience during the war. Great Uncle Bob, too, did not want to discuss any of his war time experiences with his family ever. We knew that Uncle Bob was decorated and had a Purple Heart and complete deafness in one ear from his battle experience. I related these stories to my 92 year old patient and told him that we also knew that Uncle Bob was in Marine beach landings as a flame thrower. My elderly patient gasped and said that he was so glad that he was a smaller guy and could not be assigned the worst job possible, as a flame thrower. My patient told me that one had to weigh more than 175 lbs to qualify for that horrible, hazardous duty. My Uncle Bob was skinny as a bean pole but quite tall and eked over the dreaded weight threshold. My patient told me that many of the flame throwers went crazy because of the inhuman job that they performed on Japanese pillboxes. They also had a high death rate because they carried napalm on their backs that made even glancing missed shots by the enemy into incendiary death sentences. It is quite possible that the Great Santini flew close air support for my dear old patient and my uncle.

    I thank Pat Conroy for sharing with the world. My Dad’s mother and her dysfunctional progeny could easily be protagonists in any of his novels!

  • alan Manis says:


    Two things: Just finished “Death of Santini” and as usual it was an incredible book. I was a teenager in Marietta, Ga when “The Great Santini” was published and I remember Col. Conroy on “The Ludlow Porch Show” giving parenting tips and not Neal Boortz, but I could be wrong. I always found your “Nazi Dr. Spock” quip hilarious.

    Secondly, I met you in a bookstore at an Atlanta mall when “The Prince of Tides” was released. You were very kind and gracious. Thanks again for writing such incredible books.

  • Richard Kadien says:

    Pat, I have been a fan for years and have read all of your books. Aside form enjoying your writing style, your stories appealed to me for a couple of compelling reasons.

    First, I was a young Navy corpsman that was sent to Beaufort in 1964, follwoing my training at Great Lakes. There, I had to defend myself on several occasiosn for being friendly with the other three corpsmen who were sent there with me, who happened to be black. Not that I was a civil rights activist, I just didn’t like being told who I could be friends with. I hated Beaufort then, but is now one of my favorite vacation spots.

    Second, I was also raised in a dysfunctional family, litered with acoholics and degenerate gamblers. However, your books prevent me from feeling sorry for myself. Your family was much more screwed up than mine. I am sure that sharing your experiences and sorrows have helped many besides me.

    Thanks for wearing your heart on your sleve. Any chance that they may a movie of South of Broad? It would be a box office smash!

    Keep the books coming.


  • Elina says:

    Dear Pat,

    I’m Greek and i have had the same childhood as you did. I grew up in a military family, moving every single year. My father was at the Greek Air force and despite the fact he was not a Santini, it turned out eventually that my older brother was.
    I admire you. I want to be a writer too.

    I wish you the very best.

  • Amy Howell says:

    I’m presently on page 325 of “The Death of Santini” and don’t
    Want this story and legacy to end. I’m savoring each and every
    page and stalling to finish the book for fear that this it.

    I keep reading Page 251 “”Proud Father of Poets”. The dialog between Pat and Don….What greatness.
    Pat’s humor coupled with his innate ability to bring beauty
    in writing about his own disfunctional family is a true gift and, whether
    we admit it or not, is one we can all relate to.

    Love me some Pat Conroy and waiting
    For him and Dorothea Benton Frank to do a signing
    In DFW!


  • Jim Gordon III says:


    I will try to be brief, but you, of all people, will understand it’s not in my DNA. In the 1950s, I lived on Savage Street, South of Broad, and attended the original Cathedral School on Queen Street. I also attended Sacred Heart School and Saint John Vianny Seminary. In 1968, I received my draft notice, and later served in Vietnam against my wishes.

    When I returned to Charleston, I married a schoolteacher, continued my education, and made a commitment to succeed among the aristocrats and demons of Charleston. It was an atmosphere that only someone born within the Holy City could comprehend, so I thought, until I read The Lords of Discipline. I realized then that you and I crossed paths many times and had an amazing commonality.

    In the 1970s, I entered a covert world, as a public servant. I was eventually transferred to Parris Island, lived in the Old Point of Beaufort, Ladys Island, and Fripp Island. My wife began teaching for Beaufort County and remained there until we both retired.
    During my years in Beaufort, you and I tipped our hats to each other and sat close to one another in restaurants. Several times, I stood behind you at a pharmacy on Ladys Island waiting to get my own blood pressure medicine. I thought of introducing myself, but being a gentleman, I believe in personal privacy.

    After what your novels, The Lords of Discipline and The Great Santini, did for me, I want to share with you another story that’s not intended to lessen anyone else’s demons, but, rather, will help others to know they’re not alone.

    I wrote my own work of fiction, Unforgotten Sins in Charleston, which deals with mental and physical abuse in the best of family’s. Since I’ve seen you in a particular dentist office, who is a good friend of mine, I took the liberty of giving him a copy to give to you. I hope it will do for you what your novels have done for me.

    Jim Gordon

  • Ellen Flanagan Polo says:

    I finished “The Death of Santini” last night. I always love your work, but wanted to say I appreciate that you made it clear that your were telling your story, and how you were well aware that the memories of your siblings would be different. When my 4 siblings and I get together you can count on much eye rolling when any piece of our history is recounted. When my sister is adding dramatic license, my oldest brother will say “you know what Dad always said: ‘Don’t let Sarah write my biography’. Looking very much forward to your next work.
    With thanks

  • Susan Jimenez says:

    I just finished THE DEATH OF SANTINI and wanted to reach out to you. I guess maybe hug you. First, for all you have been through and second for giving us all such remarkable books and then movies made from them. I eagerly await your next book. Thank you for sharing your gift.

  • Debbie Carter says:

    Hello Pat…Have wanted to contact you for a long time and just did not know how to. You are my brother. Your story is my story. My mother was from the south. She grew up very poor and her dream was to one day live the good life. She accomplished that with my dad, who was military for 32 years. She too became a military nurse during WW2 and served in the Phillipines and New Guinea. She wrote a book about her own life called Unsung Heroes, Combat Nurses Army Wives. Published and in a military museum in DC. Dad led his men onto Omaha Beach on D-Day. The story of Santini was my dad. His family was the military. He was a bully to his children. But I never had any doubt that he loved us in his own way. And I too had a schizophrenic twin brother whom I would go to in his times of crisis. I embrace you with my heart and soul, Pat. We are the same. All the best…Debbie

  • great read!

  • shirley quaintance says:

    Has Pat’s family considered writing a book in the form of a postscript?

    If, by chance, there is a spark of interest in having the last word, so to
    speak, there are millions of readers who do not want to close the book on the Conroys-
    in one way or the other, a universal family.

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