Dans le sillage des grands noms de la littérature du Sud des États-Unis, Pat Conroy s'est imposé en 1986 avec un chef-d'oeuvre, Le Prince des marées, aujourd'hui réédité dans une traduction révisée. Au coeur des somptueux paysages maritimes de la Caroline du Sud, cette « histoire d'eau salée, de bateaux et de crevettes, de larmes et de tempêtes » fouille la mémoire d'une famille troublée, dans un Deep South encore marqué par la ségrégation raciale. Tom, Luke et Savannah Wingo ont été élevés à la dure, entre joies et tragédies, par un père pêcheur de crevettes, alcoolique et violent, et une mère fantasque et mythomane. C'est cette vie-là que va raconter Tom à la psychiatre Susan Lowenstein après la énième tentative de suicide de sa soeur, désormais installée à New York. Pour aider la thérapeute à sauver Savannah, Tom accepte de se replonger dans les souvenirs d'une enfance marquée par un terrible secret. Ses confessions, empreintes d'humour et d'émotion, vont faire revivre la bouleversante saga du clan Wingo. Eet peut-être leur offrir à tous une chance de rédemption. « Un tour de force qui a imposé Pat Conroy comme un immense conteur digne de William Styron ou de John Irving. » (L'Express)
"J'ai détesté mon père bien avant de savoir qu'il existait un mot pour la haine."
Ce livre en forme de mémoires se lit comme un roman. Pat Conroy, auteur acclamé du Prince des Marées, revient ici sur sa relation avec son père, pilote de chasse émérite chez les Marines mais patriarche maltraitant sous son propre toit.
Aîné d'une fratrie de sept enfants trimbalés de base aérienne en base aérienne en base aérienne à travers tout le Sud des États-Unis, Pat témoigne du lourd tribut payé par tous du fait de la cruauté du père. Mais La Mort de Santini est un livre de réconciliation. Père et fils avaient fini par trouver un terrain d'entente et ce père tant haï lui manqua terriblement après sa mort. Dans ce récit passionnant, c'est toute la destinée des Conroy que l'auteur passe au crible, y compris celle de sa mère Peg, la ligne de vie qui le reliait à un monde meilleur, celui des livres et de la culture.
De sa belle plume d'écrivain du Sud, pleine d'humour, Pat Conroy nous emmène des Appalaches jusqu'à l'Irlande, en passant par Chicago et par sa bien-aimée Caroline du Sud.
"La force de persuasion de Conroy vous embarque à travers le livre, tout comme la puissance des liens qu'il partage avec les membres de sa famille, quels que soient leurs péchés." The New York Times
1969. Dans une Amérique agitée par le mouvement pour les droits civiques, Pat Conroy accepte un poste d'enseignant sur une petite île isolée. L'endroit est envoûtant, presque désert et séparé du reste de la Caroline du Sud par un bras de mer. On ne peut s'y rendre qu'en bateau. Une poignée de familles afro-américaines vit ici mais l'île n'a plus d'avenir à offrir à ses enfants. Or le jeune professeur idéaliste découvre avec stupeur que ses élèves sont des laissés-pour-compte du système scolaire, que le niveau est dramatiquement bas et que les châtiments corporels ont toujours cours dans cette école.
Pat s'acharne alors à faire rimer apprentissage avec plaisir et à donner à ces enfants une véritable ouverture sur le monde. Mais dans un Sud qui n'en a pas fini avec le racisme, il se heurte sans arrêt à l'immobilisme et au déni d'une administration qui fera tout pour le renvoyer.
Dans son style enlevé et plein d'humour, Pat Conroy nous raconte son coup de coeur pour cette île à la beauté sauvage et pour dix-huit enfants qui avaient soif d'apprendre. L'année qui a changé sa vie.
« Je devais écrire ce livre pour expliquer ce qui s'était passé et à quel point cela m'avait affecté. »
Par le célèbre auteur du Prince des Marées, d'après une histoire vraie.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A big sweeping novel of friendship and marriage” (The Washington Post) by the celebrated author of The Prince of Tides and The Great Santini
Leopold Bloom King has been raised in a family shattered--and shadowed--by tragedy. Lonely and adrift, he searches for something to sustain him and finds it among a tightly knit group of outsiders. Surviving marriages happy and troubled, unrequited loves and unspoken longings, hard-won successes and devastating breakdowns, as well as Charleston, South Carolina’s dark legacy of racism and class divisions, these friends will endure until a final test forces them to face something none of them are prepared for.
Spanning two turbulent decades, South of Broad is Pat Conroy at his finest: a masterpiece from a great American writer whose passion for life and language knows no bounds.
Praise for South of Broad
“Vintage Pat Conroy . . . a big sweeping novel of friendship and marriage.”--The Washington Post
“Conroy remains a magician of the page.”--The New York Times Book Review
“Richly imagined . . . These characters are gallant in the grand old-fashioned sense, devoted to one another and to home. That siren song of place has never sounded so sweet.”--New Orleans Times-Picayune
“A lavish, no-holds-barred performance.”--The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“A lovely, often thrilling story.”--The Dallas Morning News
“A pleasure to read . . . a must for Conroy’s fans.”--Associated Press
From the Hardcover edition.
Bestselling author Pat Conroy acknowledges the books that have shaped him and celebrates the profound effect reading has had on his life.
Pat Conroy, the beloved American storyteller, is a voracious reader. Starting as a childhood passion that bloomed into a life-long companion, reading has been Conroy’s portal to the world, both to the farthest corners of the globe and to the deepest chambers of the human soul. His interests range widely, from Milton to Tolkien, Philip Roth to Thucydides, encompassing poetry, history, philosophy, and any mesmerizing tale of his native South. He has for years kept notebooks in which he records words and expressions, over time creating a vast reservoir of playful turns of phrase, dazzling flashes of description, and snippets of delightful sound, all just for his love of language. But for Conroy reading is not simply a pleasure to be enjoyed in off-hours or a source of inspiration for his own writing. It would hardly be an exaggeration to claim that reading has saved his life, and if not his life then surely his sanity.
In My Reading Life, Conroy revisits a life of reading through an array of wonderful and often surprising anecdotes: sharing the pleasures of the local library’s vast cache with his mother when he was a boy, recounting his decades-long relationship with the English teacher who pointed him onto the path of letters, and describing a profoundly influential period he spent in Paris, as well as reflecting on other pivotal people, places, and experiences. His story is a moving and personal one, girded by wisdom and an undeniable honesty. Anyone who not only enjoys the pleasures of reading but also believes in the power of books to shape a life will find here the greatest defense of that credo.
BONUS: This ebook edition includes an excerpt from Pat Conroy's The Death of Santini.
In 1954, in Orlando, Florida, nine-year-old Pat Conroy discovered the game of basketball. Orlando was another new hometown for a military kid who had spent his life transferring from one home to another; he was yet again among strangers, still looking for his first Florida friends, but when the 'new kid' got his hands on the ball near the foul line of that unfamiliar court, the course of his life changed dramatically. From that moment until he was twenty-one, the future author defined himself through the game of basketball. In My Losing Season, Conroy takes the reader through his last year playing basketball, as point guard and captain of The Citadel Bulldogs, flashing back constantly to the drama of his coming of age, presenting all the conflict and love that have been at the core of his novels. He vividly re-creates his senior year at that now-famous military college in Charleston, South Carolina, but also tells the story of his heartbreaking childhood and of the wonderful series of events that conspired to rescue his spirit. With poignancy and humour Conroy reveals the inspirations behind his unforgettable characters, pinpoints the emotions that shaped his own character as a young boy, and ultimately recaptures his passage from athlete to writer.
America's favorite storyteller, Pat Conroy, is back with a unique cookbook that only he could conceive. Delighting us with tales of his passion for cooking and good food and the people, places, and great meals he has experienced, Conroy mixes them together with mouthwatering recipes from the Deep South and the world beyond.
It all started thirty years ago with a chance purchase of The Escoffier Cookbook, an unlikely and daunting introduction for the beginner. But Conroy was more than up to the task. He set out with unwavering determination to learn the basics of French cooking--stocks and dough--and moved swiftly on to veal demi-glace and pâte brisée. With the help of his culinary accomplice, Suzanne Williamson Pollak, Conroy mastered the dishes of his beloved South as well as the cuisine he has savored in places as far away from home as Paris, Rome, and San Francisco.
Each chapter opens with a story told with the inimitable brio of the author. We see Conroy in New Orleans celebrating his triumphant novel The Prince of Tides at a new restaurant where there is a contretemps with its hardworking young owner/chef--years later he discovered the earnest young chef was none other than Emeril Lagasse; we accompany Pat and his wife on their honeymoon in Italy and wander with him, wonderstruck, through the markets of Umbria and Rome; we learn how a dinner with his fighter-pilot father was preceded by the Great Santini himself acting out a perilous night flight that would become the last chapters of one of his son's most beloved novels. These tales and more are followed by corresponding recipes--from Breakfast Shrimp and Grits and Sweet Potato Rolls to Pappardelle with Prosciutto and Chestnuts and Beefsteak Florentine to Peppered Peaches and Creme Brulee. A master storyteller and passionate cook, Conroy believes that "A recipe is a story that ends with a good meal."
"This book is the story of my life as it relates to the subject of food. It is my autobiography in food and meals and restaurants and countries far and near. Let me take you to a restaurant on the Left Bank of Paris that I found when writing The Lords of Discipline. There are meals I ate in Rome while writing The Prince of Tides that ache in my memory when I resurrect them. There is a shrimp dish I ate in an elegant English restaurant, where Cuban cigars were passed out to all the gentlemen in the room after dinner, that I can taste on my palate as I write this. There is barbecue and its variations in the South, and the subject is a holy one to me. I write of truffles in the Dordogne Valley in France, cilantro in Bangkok, catfish in Alabama, scuppernong in South Carolina, Chinese food from my years in San Francisco, and white asparagus from the first meal my agent took me to in New York City. Let me tell you about the fabulous things I have eaten in my life, the story of the food I have encountered along the way. . . "
With the spectacular worldwide success of his unforgettable novel The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy established himself as a major international writer. He is known for his anguished and painfully honest insights into families and the human heart. He now returns with Beach Music, a story which tells of a family haunted by dark memories that reach back into the unutterable terrors of the Holocaust.Jack McCall, an American living in Rome with his young daughter, is trying to find peace after the recent trauma of his wife's suicide. But his solitude is disturbed by the appearance of his sister-in-law, who begs him to return home, and of two school friends, who want his help in tracking down another classmate who went underground as a Vietman protester and never resurfaced. These requests launch Jack on a journey that encompasses the past and the present in both Europe and the American South: a quest that leads him to shocking and ultimately liberating truths.
Final words and heartfelt remembrances from bestselling author Pat Conroy take center stage in this winning nonfiction collection, supplemented by touching pieces from Conroy’s many friends.
This new volume of Pat Conroy’s nonfiction brings together some of the most charming interviews, magazine articles, speeches, and letters from his long literary career, many of them addressed directly to his readers with his habitual greeting, “Hey, out there.” Ranging across diverse subjects, such as favorite recent reads, the challenge of staying motivated to exercise, and processing the loss of dear friends, Conroy’s eminently memorable pieces offer a unique window into the life of a true titan of Southern writing.
With a beautiful introduction from his widow, novelist Cassandra King, A Lowcountry Heart also honors Conroy’s legacy and the innumerable lives he touched. Finally, the collection turns to remembrances of “The Great Conroy,” as he is lovingly titled by friends, and concludes with a eulogy. The inarguable power of Conroy’s work resonates throughout A Lowcountry Heart, and his influence promises to endure.
This moving tribute is sure to be a cherished keepsake for any true Conroy fan and remain a lasting monument to one of the best-loved masters of contemporary American letters.
Praise for A Lowcountry Heart
“A fascinating look into the mind of one of the South’s greatest authors . . . something to remember him by and cherish for years to come.”--The Clarion-Ledger
“Fans of Conroy . . . will relish the chance to spend more time with him in this glowing valedictory to his life and writing . . . Eloquent, folksy, and sometimes brutally honest.”--Publishers Weekly
“A moving and proper tribute to a true Southern icon.”--The Florida Times-Union
“Elegant essays [that] will not disappoint.”--The Washington Post
“Resplendent . . . As always, his storytelling, word choice and rhythm are gorgeous, almost lyrical.”--USA Today
Pat Conroy is without doubt America's favorite storyteller, a writer who portrays the anguished truth of the human heart and the painful secrets of
families in richly lyrical prose and unforgettable narratives. Now, in Beach Music, he tells of the dark memories that haunt generations, in a story
that spans South Carolina and Rome and reaches back into the unutterable terrors of the Holocaust.
Beach Music is about Jack McCall, an American living in Rome with his young daughter, trying to find peace after the recent trauma of his wife's
suicide. But his solitude is disturbed by the appearance of his sisterinlaw, who begs him to return home, and of two school friends asking for his help in
tracking down another classmate who went underground as a Vietnam protester and never resurfaced. These requests launch Jack on a journey that encompasses the past and the present in both Europe and the American South, and that leads him to shockingand ultimately liberatingtruths.
Told with deep feeling and trademark Conroy humor, Beach Music is powerful and compulsively readable. It is another masterpiece in the legendary
list of classics that his body of work has already become.
PAT CONROY is the author of five previous books: The Boo, The Water Is Wide, The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline, and
The Prince of Tides, the last four of which were made into feature films.
From thePaperback edition.
Leopold Bloom King is the son of an amiable, loving father who teaches science at the local high school. His mother, a former nun, is the high school principal and a respected Joyce scholar. He has had an unremarkable, happy family life. But after Leo's ten-year-old brother commits suicide, the family struggles with the shattering effects of his death, and Leo, lonely and isolated, searches for something to sustain him. Eventually, he finds his answer when he becomes part of a tight knit group of older high school students that includes Sheba and Trevor Poe - glamorous twins with an alcoholic mother and a prison-escapee father - hard-scrabble mountain runaways Niles and Starla Whitehead; socialite Molly Huger and her boyfriend, Chadworth Rutledge X. It's an ever-widening circle whose liaisons will ripple across two decades, from 1960s counterculture through to the dawn of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.The ties among them endure for years, surviving marriages happy and troubled, unrequited loves and unspoken longings, hard-won successes and devastating breakdowns, as well as the American South's dark legacy of racism and class divisions. But the final test of friendship that brings them to San Francisco is something no one is prepared for.Leopold Bloom King is the son of an amiable, loving father who teaches science at the local high school. His mother, a former nun, is the high school principal and a respected Joyce scholar. He has had an unremarkable, happy family life. But after Leo's ten-year-old brother commits suicide, the family struggles with the shattering effects of his death, and Leo, lonely and isolated, searches for something to sustain him. Eventually, he finds his answer when he becomes part of a tight knit group of older high school students that includes Sheba and Trevor Poe - glamorous twins with an alcoholic mother and a prison-escapee father - hard-scrabble mountain runaways Niles and Starla Whitehead; socialite Molly Huger and her boyfriend, Chadworth Rutledge X. It's an ever-widening circle whose liaisons will ripple across two decades, from 1960s counterculture through to the dawn of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.The ties among them endure for years, surviving marriages happy and troubled, unrequited loves and unspoken longings, hard-won successes and devastating breakdowns, as well as the American South's dark legacy of racism and class divisions. But the final test of friendship that brings them to San Francisco is something no one is prepared for.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.
Pat Conroy’s great success as a writer has always been intimately linked with the exploration of his family history. As the oldest of seven children who were dragged from military base to military base across the South, Pat bore witness to the often cruel and violent behavior of his father, Marine Corps fighter pilot Donald Patrick Conroy. While the publication of The Great Santini brought Pat much acclaim, the rift it caused brought even more attention, fracturing an already battered family. But as Pat tenderly chronicles here, even the oldest of wounds can heal. In the final years of Don Conroy’s life, the Santini unexpectedly refocused his ire to defend his son’s honor.
The Death of Santini is a heart-wrenching act of reckoning whose ultimate conclusion is that love can soften even the meanest of men, lending significance to the oft-quoted line from Pat’s novel The Prince of Tides: “In families there are no crimes beyond forgiveness.”
Praise for The Death of Santini
“A brilliant storyteller, a master of sarcasm, and a hallucinatory stylist whose obsession with the impress of the past on the present binds him to Southern literary tradition.”--The Boston Globe
“A painful, lyrical, addictive read that [Pat Conroy’s] fans won’t want to miss.”--People
“Conroy’s conviction pulls you fleetly through the book, as does the potency of his bond with his family, no matter their sins.”--The New York Times Book Review
“Vital, large-hearted and often raucously funny.”--The Washington Post
“Conroy writes athletically and beautifully, slicing through painful memories like a point guard splitting the defense.”--Minneapolis Star Tribune
From the Trade Paperback edition.