Pat Conroy’s New York Times–bestselling coming-of-age novel about a son’s struggle to escape the domineering expectations of his volatile military father. Marine Col. Bull Meecham commands his home like a soldiers’ barracks. Cold and controlling, but also loving, Bull has complicated relationships with each member of his family—in particular, his eldest son, Ben. A born athlete who desperately seeks his father’s approval, Ben is determined to break out from the colonel’s shadow. With guidance from teachers at his new school, he strives to find the courage to stand up to his father once and for all. Inspired by Pat Conroy’s own difficult relationship with his father, The Great Santini is a captivating and unflinching portrayal of modern family, and a moving novel of a son determined to become his own man.
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.
A trio of powerful New York Times bestsellers—which all became the basis for acclaimed films—from the award-winning Southern novelist. The Great Santini: A son struggles to escape the domineering expectations of his volatile military father. “Robust and vivid . . . full of feeling” (Newsday). The Lords of Discipline: Will McLean begins his studies at the Carolina Military Institute during the Vietnam War era and must mentor the school’s first black student—while facing down the menace of a racist secret society. “A work of enormous power, passion, humor, and wisdom” (Jonathan Yardley, TheWashington Star). The Prince of Tides: When Tom Wingo learns that his twin sister has attempted suicide—again—he leaves the Low Country to visit her in New York and confront the family secret that haunts them both. “Conroy has achieved a penetrating vision of the Southern psyche” (Publishers Weekly). Deeply influenced by the author’s own experiences, with his Southern family and education at the Citadel in Charleston, these stunning novels represent the very best of Pat Conroy’s impressive literary career. The South Carolina–set sagas were made into blockbuster films—two of them earning multiple Academy Award nominations—and each is a rich, emotional journey into the inner lives of fascinating characters.
The 525 notable works of 19th and 20th century American fiction in this reference book have many stage, movie, television, and video adaptations. Each literary work is described and then every adaptation is examined with a discussion of how accurate the version is and how well it succeeds in conveying the spirit of the original in a different medium. In addition to famous novels and short stories by authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Willa Cather, many bestsellers, mysteries, children’s books, young adult books, horror novels, science fiction, detective stories, and sensational potboilers from the past two centuries are examined.
This book is about what movies do for us. It is about how movies exhibit the contradictions, truths, and fantasies surrounding our bedrock American beliefs in things held sacred, including, in this case, our creed of family. It is about why we again and again attend the dark universal tabernacles in which these sermons are offered. The depth of analysis offered here will also bring new insights to those concerned with parenting issues, self understanding, and media consciousness - all increasingly relevant areas of concern in contemporary life. And, for those interested in telling stories that will truly "move" the rest of us, this book will serve as a secret doorway to the inner sanctum of human characters responding to the places and times of their lives. Finally, this book will bring revelation and liberation to reader's lives by showing them how to look through movies into themselves as they have never done before. In the specific examples of archetypal life journeys illuminated through these films, they will experience empathy with the ineffability of their existence. And, in transubstantiating with these movie characters amidst history, culture, and family, they will journey through their own conundrums in arcs that bring them moments of at-one-ment.
Covers contemporary authors and works that have enjoyed commercial success in the United States but are typically neglected by more "literary" guides. Provides high school and college students with everything they need to know to understand the authors and works of American popular fiction.
Pat Conroy’s work as a novelist and a memoirist has indelibly shaped the image of the American South in the cultural imagination. His writing has rendered the physical landscape of the South Carolina lowcountry familiar to legions of readers, and it has staked out a more complex geography as well, one defined by domestic trauma, racial anxiety, religious uncertainty, and cultural ambivalence. In Understanding Pat Conroy, Catherine Seltzer engages in a sustained consideration of Conroy and his work. The study begins with a sketch of Conroy’s biography, a narrative that, while fascinating in its own right, is employed here to illuminate many of the motifs and characters that define his work and to locate him within southern literary tradition. The volume then moves on to explore each of Conroy’s major works, tracing the evolution of the themes within and among each of his novels, including The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline, The Prince of Tides, Beach Music, and South of Broad, and his memoirs, among them The Water Is Wide and My Losing Season. Seltzer’s insightful close readings of Conroy’s work are supplemented by interviews and archival material, shedding new light on the often-complex dynamics between text and context in Conroy’s oeuvre. More broadly Understanding Pat Conroy also explores the ways that Conroy delights in troubling the boundaries that circumscribe the literary establishment. Seltzer links Conroy’s work to existing debates about the contemporary American canon, and, like Conroy’s work itself, Understanding Pat Conroy will be of interest to his readers, students of American literature, and new and veteran South watchers.
Bestselling author Cassandra King Conroy considers her life and the man she shared it with, paying tribute to her husband, Pat Conroy, the legendary figure of modern Southern literature. Cassandra King was leading a quiet life as a professor, divorced “Sunday wife” of a preacher, and debut novelist when she met Pat Conroy. Their friendship bloomed into a tentative, long-distance relationship. Pat and Cassandra ultimately married, ending Pat's long commutes from coastal South Carolina to her native Alabama. It was a union that would last eighteen years, until the beloved literary icon’s death from pancreatic cancer in 2016. In this poignant, intimate memoir, the woman he called King Ray looks back at her love affair with a natural-born storyteller whose lust for life was fueled by a passion for literature, food, and the Carolina Lowcountry that was his home. As she reflects on their relationship and the eighteen years they spent together, cut short by Pat’s passing at seventy, Cassandra reveals how the marshlands of the South Carolina Lowcountry ultimately cast their spell on her, too, and how she came to understand the convivial, generous, funny, and wounded flesh-and-blood man beneath the legend—her husband, the original Prince of Tides.
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.