This book was put together as a final collection of interviews, articles and letters from Pat Conroy's long literary life. The book attracted me because of the sub-title "Reflections on a Writing Life".
Pat is well known for the 11 books he wrote but I have not read any of them yet. The Great Santini and Prince of Tides are perhaps two of the better known books of his and were made into movies. The movies didn't make me want to find out more about Pat as finding out more his life has. I do love this quote of his: "the most powerful words in the English language are, Tell me a story."
There is much about this author that interests me, the least of which is that we are the same age and he passed away in March of 2016.
The cover page of his web site, www.patconroy.com , states that he "uses stories to explore the great themes of life". The book reveals much of his conversations over the years and it also shows how very many different authors he as read. As with so many great writers you find out they are amazing in how much they read.
He liked to portray himself as a Southern gentleman but he said of his reading that, "If I can't understand it then who the hell can? He loved to gather stories and to talk with his readers. He told them openly that he was collecting stories. He referred to himself as one of the ones in life who was a "designated rememberer".
He was known for the way he would do book events for new books at stores across the country He would talk to each person and even listen to their stories and would go late into the night to finish all that came.
The Pat Conroy Literary Center has a web site and one of the first things you see on it is that one of it's purposes is to "honors his fierce love for the diverse voices that tell our crucial stories, the teachers who call those stories forth, and the readers who keep the stories alive." A quote on the site I really liked was:
"I was born to be in a library"
The book helped me get to know him better. I wanted to learn what made him tick and the book was useful.