cover image A Lowcountry Heart: Reflections on a Writing Life

A Lowcountry Heart: Reflections on a Writing Life

Pat Conroy. Doubleday/Talese, $25 (320p ) ISBN 978-0-385-53086-6

Fans of Conroy (1945–2016) will relish the chance to spend more time with him in this glowing valedictory to his life and writing, and those who have never read his books may very well be enticed to do so after reading this vibrant, charming collection of blog posts, interviews, essays, and speeches from the last years of his life. Conroy’s intelligence and curiosity about life and literature blossom forth in entries that are eloquent, folksy, and sometimes brutally honest. As many readers will know, he experienced his share of hardships, vividly reflected in novels such as The Great Santini and The Lords of Discipline. But a painful past clearly never hardened him, and his exuberance for so many things shines through in the entries reproduced here: his passion for books, reading, and language; his love for friends, both old and new; his delight in the beauty of South Carolina; his reverence for teaching and teachers; and his gratitude for being a writer and for the connections he has forged because of it. In particular, he enthuses generously and gregariously about fellow writers. “Great love” was his blog sign off, and that love was clearly returned by those who knew him, as evidenced by the moving reminiscences about him included in the book, such as an introduction by his wife, author Cassandra King. (Oct.)