Reflections on a Writing Life
Publication Date: 10/25/2016
My Rating: 4 Stars
A special thank you to Doubleday and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
A Lowcountry Heart: Reflections on a Writing Life, a collection of non-fiction writings by the beloved Southern author, we all loved, Pat Conroy, as well as special remembrances from his friends.
Throughout A LOWCOUNTRY HEART, the indisputable power of Conroy’s work resonates, and his influence promises to endure. A sharing of stories. A moving tribute and a cherished keepsake for Conroy fans. To one of the best-loved writers of contemporary American letters.
“A man who loved the written work beyond all measure, and who believed that each of us has at least one great story to tell.”
From Conroy’s famous “hey, out there,” his first letter ever written for his website, his hated word “blog”, his special friends, and his love of the LowCountry—Charleston. From his special journals, letters, interviews, and essays, to his oldest friend, Bernie Schein's farewell letter to the beautiful introduction and acknowledgments by his beloved wife and writer, Cassandra King Conroy. Even includes a Conversation with Pat Conroy, from Beaufort Lifestyles, Oct 2015.
A touching collection of moments and treasures from the man we all admired. From an intimate letter to his grandson about sportsmanship and basketball, Citadel, Andie MacDowell, Beaufort, his books, his writing life, teachers, Vietnam, Charlie Gibson of Good Morning America, Paris Days, A Eulogy for a Southern Gentleman, South of Broad, Penn Center, one of the first schools for freed slaves, (his final resting place-Memorial Garden), birthdays, travels, teachers, his first book, sermons and speeches, plus many more special tidbits from an extraordinary man.
Each fan will have special fond memories of different segments of the memoir. I particularly enjoyed how he metCassandra King , later in life, where they found in their fifties and sixties, a time of joy, productivity, and contentment. Their shared love of books, writing, and life. Their first meeting at a writer’s conference in Birmingham, Alabama. She fell upon his spell. Their twenty years together. People were Starstruck by him and his presence.
“Pat could make the deaf hear and the mute speak. Sweeping you up in a conversation with those intense blue eyes focused like lasers on you and you alone, he had the ability to ferret out your secret self that had been undercover for a lifetime. “
From his musings, critiques, observations, and meditations, his journals, and stories. How a hearing a good story filled him with great excitement. His love of book signings. Stories were a way Pat connected with readers.
It was amusing to read about his resisting modern technology, emails, blogs, tweets, and twitters. However, most of the works in this collection come from the "blog" he began to write when he was between books; when his health began to fail since he was limited to travel.
These were called blog posts or letters. He never learned to type. It was the way he collected the stories he would turn into the books his readers yearned for. He would take your story and make it large and glorious and unforgettable. From his great love of books,
his first, plus some of his favorite authors and friends, John Grisham, John Irving, Richard Russo, Anne Rivers Siddons, Ron Rash, Fannie Flagg, and more– books that inspired him, and his family.
Being a native Carolinian, enjoyed revisiting special places like the Highlands, NC, Charleston and Beaufort, SC, among others. Pat was a great man, a talented author, possessing a rare gift, which is missed tremendously.A beautiful collection,
a treasure, and tribute to his work and his life. His love of the South, food, friends, family, and mostly words and stories. "Our own prince of tides."