Pat Conroy leaves behind fascinating glimpse into his life - InfoNews

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Pat Conroy leaves behind fascinating glimpse into his life

March 12, 2018 - 6:17 AM

"My Exaggerated Life: Pat Conroy" (The University of South Carolina Press), by Katherine Clark

Anyone familiar with Pat Conroy — whether through his novels like "The Lords of Discipline" or "The Prince of Tides" or his memoirs like "The Water is Wide" or "My Losing Season" — knows he left behind pieces of himself in everything he wrote.

In "My Exaggerated Life," Conroy truly tells all. In his own approachable and witty voice, he reveals his art, his craft, his family and his foibles.

During the spring and summer of 2014, Conroy spent more than 200 hours on the phone with writer and oral historian Katherine Clark, who beautifully pulls off the challenge of assembling those conversations into an efficient and easy-flowing narrative. Conroy died two years later of pancreatic cancer.

Clark organizes her conversations chronologically, beginning with Conroy as a military brat with the tyrannical father portrayed in "The Great Santini" through his years in the American South, Rome and San Francisco. We learn about his marriages, his depression, his insecurities. He talks about his literary crushes and disappointments, his inability to say "no" to any fellow author who asked him to blurb his or her book and his therapist-hero. And we hear it all in his wonderfully brilliant, insightful, self-deprecating voice.

Delving into "My Exaggerated Life" will leave readers thrilled, invigorated and inspired yet, at the same time, wistful and grieving the loss of Conroy's one-of-a-kind literary voice.

News from © The Associated Press, 2018
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