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Acclaimed writers, family, friends, and more pay homage to the celebrated Southern author of The Prince of Tides and The Great Santini.
New York Times–bestselling writer Pat Conroy (1945–2016) inspired a worldwide legion of devoted fans, but none are more loyal to him and more committed to sustaining his literary legacy than the many writers he nurtured over the course of his fifty-year career. In sharing their stories of Conroy, his fellow writers honor his memory and advance our shared understanding of his lasting impact on literary life in and well beyond the American South.
Conroy’s fellowship drew from all walks of life. His relationships were complicated, and people and places he thought he’d left behind often circled back to him at crucial moments. The pantheon of contributors includes Rick Bragg, Kathleen Parker, Barbra Streisand, Janis Ian, Anthony Grooms, Mary Hood, Nikky Finney, Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart, Ron Rash, Sandra Brown, and Mary Alice Monroe; Conroy biographers Katherine Clark and Catherine Seltzer; his longtime friends; Pat’s students Sallie Ann Robinson and Valerie Sayers; members of the Conroy family; and many more.
Each author in this collection shares a slightly different view of Conroy. Through their voices, a multifaceted portrait of him comes to life and sheds new light on who he was. Loosely following Conroy’s own chronology, the essays herewith wind through his river of a story, stopping at important ports of call. Cities he called home and longed to visit, along with each book he birthed, become characters that are as equally important as the people he touched along the way.