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Pat Conroy’s Nobel Prize

It hasn’t happened yet, but BoomerPDX predicts it For Pat Conroy.



The name Santini means one thing: Pat Conroy.

And he might come to your town.

Maybe not your own town, but lots of them on this version of Book Tour.

If you’ve seen Mr. Conroy’s reading/signing, tell boomerpdx how it went.

Most authors do the job. Show up, read, sign. Line forms to the right. But most authors haven’t spoken to baby boomers the way Conroy’s books do.

You had parent problems growing up? Brother or sister problems? Issues in school? On the job?

Read Conroy to clear things up.

He doesn’t one-up his readers as much as take common relationship dynamics to another universe.

The Great Santini gave us a father for the ages. Be glad he’s not yours.

The Prince Of Tides shows a fragile sister, a southern poet in NYC when her brothers visit. At a reading the brothers aren’t warmly welcomed by the audience. When their sister introduces them one brother says to one of the harsh women, “And you thought I was a nobody” or something close.

South Of Broad adds Church problems to a mix that threatens to overflow the pages. I read this book on the roof of a Seville, Spain apartment building. Try reading Catholic remorse in a Catholic stronghold.

The effect was a compounded slam, a stunning shot of relevance drifting over a neighborhood decorated with religious icons.

The gift Conroy gives readers is ordinary life made extraordinary. He sneaks it in there with master craftsman skill. You know it’s there, but the feeling radiates beyond the book. You check back to be sure.

The second look is the game changer. Like a trip to Costco, you dive in for one thing and leave with more than planned. And you wonder how it all fit into your cart.

Any Conroy book demands reflection. That’s when you wonder how he fit so much between the covers.

This isn’t William Faulkner asking you to read a guide before reading him. Not a William Styron history lesson on how things go wrong.

Pat Conroy gathers his family, his region, his country, and squeezes them all together. The juice falls onto blank pages and magically forms into letters, then words, paragraphs, and chapters. Then you see your family.

What sort of juice formed Conroy’s new book, The Death Of Santini?

The sort of juice they serve at the Nobel Banquet.





About David Gillaspie
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