Still Reading Conroy

Sometimes rainy days are blessings. Just one rainy day and a bit of another day is all it took for me to read Pat Conroy’s book, A Lowcountry Heart: Reflections on a Writing Life.

In it we readers encounter the flood tide of linguistic power that was Conroy. The tumult of his formative years of physical and psychological and emotional terror at the hands of Don Conroy, his Marine fighter pilot father; the toxic relationships his family demanded and honed; the suicides of family and friends; the tortures of the plebe system at the Citadel, and stories upon stories–some hilarious, some self-effacing, and others self-promoting, and often tragic, pervade this book.

I was a high school boy in Atlanta when I read The Lords of Discipline for the first time. I was hooked on Conroy’s storytelling. If you enjoy stories that peel the skin back from the bones of your soul, give Conroy a chance to speak. Open his books and read them. He’ll grip you, just like literature gripped him, and Conroy’s words will leave you with a longing for tidal marshes, shrimp and grits, glimpses of blue herons, and an awareness that stories are what we live for because they remind us that it all matters.

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