Pat Conroy, the beloved American storyteller, is a voracious reader. Starting as a childhood passion that bloomed into a life-long companion, reading has been Conroy’s portal to the world, both to the farthest corners of the globe and to the deepest chambers of the human soul. His interests range widely, from Milton to Tolkien, Philip Roth to Thucydides, encompassing poetry, history, philosophy, and any mesmerizing tale of his native South. He has for years kept notebooks in which he records words and expressions, over time creating a vast reservoir of playful turns of phrase, dazzling flashes of description, and snippets of delightful sound, all just for his love of language. But for Conroy reading is not simply a pleasure to be enjoyed in off-hours or a source of inspiration for his own writing. It would hardly be an exaggeration to claim that reading has saved his life, and if not his life then surely his sanity.
In My Reading Life, Conroy revisits a life of reading through an array of wonderful and often surprising anecdotes: sharing the pleasures of the local library’s vast cache with his mother when he was a boy, recounting his decades-long relationship with the English teacher who pointed him onto the path of letters, and describing a profoundly influential period he spent in Paris, as well as reflecting on other pivotal people, places, and experiences. His story is a moving and personal one, girded by wisdom and an undeniable honesty. Anyone who not only enjoys the pleasures of reading but also believes in the power of books to shape a life will find here the greatest defense of that credo.
BONUS: This ebook edition includes an excerpt from Pat Conroy's The Death of Santini.
During one unforgettable season as a Citadel cadet, Pat Conroy becomes part of a basketball team that is ultimately destined to fail. And yet for a military kid who grew up on the move, the Bulldogs provide a sanctuary from the cold, abrasive father who dominates his life—and a crucible for becoming his own man.
With all the drama and incandescence of his bestselling fiction, Conroy re-creates his pivotal senior year as captain of the Citadel Bulldogs. He chronicles the highs and lows of that fateful 1966–67 season, his tough disciplinarian coach, the joys of winning, and the hard-won lessons of losing. Most of all, he recounts how a group of boys came together as a team, playing a sport that would become a metaphor for a man whose spirit could never be defeated.
Praise for My Losing Season
“A superb accomplishment, maybe the finest book Pat Conroy has written.”—The Washington Post Book World
“A wonderfully rich memoir that you don’t have to be a sports fan to love.”—Houston Chronicle
“A memoir with all the Conroy trademarks . . . Here’s ample proof that losers always tell the best stories.”—Newsweek
“In My Losing Season, Conroy opens his arms wide to embrace his difficult past and almost everyone in it.”—New York Daily News
“Haunting, bittersweet and as compelling as his bestselling fiction.”—Boston Herald
From the Hardcover edition.
Pat Conroy’s great success as a writer has always been intimately linked with the exploration of his family history. As the oldest of seven children who were dragged from military base to military base across the South, Pat bore witness to the often cruel and violent behavior of his father, Marine Corps fighter pilot Donald Patrick Conroy. While the publication of The Great Santini brought Pat much acclaim, the rift it caused brought even more attention, fracturing an already battered family. But as Pat tenderly chronicles here, even the oldest of wounds can heal. In the final years of Don Conroy’s life, the Santini unexpectedly refocused his ire to defend his son’s honor.
The Death of Santini is a heart-wrenching act of reckoning whose ultimate conclusion is that love can soften even the meanest of men, lending significance to the oft-quoted line from Pat’s novel The Prince of Tides: “In families there are no crimes beyond forgiveness.”
Praise for The Death of Santini
“A brilliant storyteller, a master of sarcasm, and a hallucinatory stylist whose obsession with the impress of the past on the present binds him to Southern literary tradition.”—The Boston Globe
“A painful, lyrical, addictive read that [Pat Conroy’s] fans won’t want to miss.”—People
“Conroy’s conviction pulls you fleetly through the book, as does the potency of his bond with his family, no matter their sins.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Vital, large-hearted and often raucously funny.”—The Washington Post
“Conroy writes athletically and beautifully, slicing through painful memories like a point guard splitting the defense.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Lt. Col. Nugent Courvoisie, known to the cadets as “the Boo,” is an imposing and inspiring leader at the South Carolina military academy, the Citadel. A harsh disciplinarian but a compassionate mentor, he guides and inspires his young charges.
Cadet Peter Cates is an anomaly. He is a gifted writer, a talented basketball player, and a good student, but his outward successes do little to impress his abusive father. The Boo takes Cates under his wing, but their bond is threatened when they’re forced to confront an act of violence on campus.
Drawn from Pat Conroy’s own experiences as a student at the Citadel, The Boo is an unforgettable story about duty, loyalty, and standing up for what is right in the face of overwhelming circumstances.
Leopold Bloom King has been raised in a family shattered—and shadowed—by tragedy. Lonely and adrift, he searches for something to sustain him and finds it among a tightly knit group of outsiders. Surviving marriages happy and troubled, unrequited loves and unspoken longings, hard-won successes and devastating breakdowns, as well as Charleston, South Carolina’s dark legacy of racism and class divisions, these friends will endure until a final test forces them to face something none of them are prepared for.
Spanning two turbulent decades, South of Broad is Pat Conroy at his finest: a masterpiece from a great American writer whose passion for life and language knows no bounds.
Praise for South of Broad
“Vintage Pat Conroy . . . a big sweeping novel of friendship and marriage.”—The Washington Post
“Conroy remains a magician of the page.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Richly imagined . . . These characters are gallant in the grand old-fashioned sense, devoted to one another and to home. That siren song of place has never sounded so sweet.”—New Orleans Times-Picayune
“A lavish, no-holds-barred performance.”—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“A lovely, often thrilling story.”—The Dallas Morning News
“A pleasure to read . . . a must for Conroy’s fans.”—Associated Press
From the Hardcover edition.
A Southerner living abroad, Jack McCall is scarred by tragedy and betrayal. His desperate desire to find peace after his wife’s suicide draws him into a painful, intimate search for the one haunting secret in his family’s past that can heal his anguished heart. Spanning three generations and two continents, from the contemporary ruins of the American South to the ancient ruins of Rome, from the unutterable horrors of the Holocaust to the lingering trauma of Vietnam, Beach Music sings with life’s pain and glory. It is a novel of lyric intensity and searing truth, another masterpiece among Pat Conroy’s legendary and beloved novels.
Praise for Beach Music
“Astonishing . . . stunning . . . The range of passions and subjects that bring life to every page is almost endless.”—The Washington Post Book World
“Magnificent . . . clearly Conroy’s best.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Blockbuster writing at its best.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Pat Conroy’s writing contains a virtue now rare in most contemporary fiction: passion.”—The Denver Post
“A powerful, heartfelt tale.”—Houston Chronicle
In this groundbreaking collection, writers from around the world address issues of language acquisition and identity formation, childhood mobility and adaptation, memory and grief, and the artist’s struggle to articulate the experience of growing up global. And, woven like a thread through the entire collection, runs the individual’s search for belonging and a place called “home.”
This book provides a major leap in understanding what it’s like to grow up among worlds. It is invaluable reading for the new global age.
Whether you’re mastering a greeting in ten different languages, throwing an internationally themed birthday party, or celebrating a newfound holiday, Growing Up Global provides parents and children with a rich, exciting background for exploring and connecting with far-flung nations they may have only heard about on television. Inside you’ll discover
• fun activities, games, and suggestions for movies, music, books, magazines, service activities, and websites for expanding your family’s worldview
• simple explanations that will help your children grasp the diversity of world faiths
• creative ways to gain geography literacy
• handy lists of celebrations and customs that offer a fascinating look at how people from different cultures around the world live everyday life
Growing Up Global is a book that parents, grandparents, and teachers can turn to again and again for inspiration and motivation as they strive to open the minds of children everywhere.
From the Trade Paperback edition.