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Pat Conroy Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Boo (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Great Santini (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lords of Discipline (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Prince of Tides (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Beach Music (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
South of Broad (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Water is Wide (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
My Losing Season (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Pat Conroy Cookbook (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
My Life in Books / My Reading Life (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Death of Santini (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Lowcountry Heart (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Stories from the Blue Moon Café(2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Wavedancer Benefit: A Tribute to Frank Muller(2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
FIRST WORDS: Earliest Writing from Favorite Contemporary Authors(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Don't Quit Your Day Job: Acclaimed Authors and the Day Jobs They Quit(2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
State of the Heart: South Carolina Writers on the Places They Love(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Path to the World(2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Word on Words: The Best of John Seigenthaler's Interviews(2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Considered as one of the best, who is behind so many touching slice-of-life stories, author Pat Conroy continues to deliver the goods to his many fans who have stayed the course to enjoy what he does best, write.

Conroy was born on October 26, 1945, and he grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of a U.S. Marine Corps. Pilot. The way his childhood and adolescence turned out, he clearly had a deep and lasting impression, one that would play a big role in many of his most-well known novels. Two particular novels of Pat Conroy that have become considered contemporary classics are “The Prince of Tides” and “The Great Santini”. The Prince of Tides went on to become made into a film that had garnered multiple Oscar nominations, starring Barbara Streisand and Nick Nolte.

During the early years of Conroy’s life, he and his family moved around several different times due to military life and it wasn’t exactly easy when it came to the relationship of his father and him. Born the first of seven children, Conroy had a truly uneasy upbringing because his father was an extremely abusive man who appeared to choose Pat as his daily whipping boy. He would be at the receiving end of physical and verbal abuse but eventually he had drifted further away from his father by heading off to school.

He began to attend the Citadel Military Academy in South Carolina and it was there when he had first decided to try his hand at writing. He not only wrote but published his very first book about his teacher whom he found to be his favorite teacher, “The Boo”.

After his graduation from the academy, Conroy had decided to become a teacher in an old fashioned, one-room schoolhouse. What he saw at the school was something that absolutely tore at his soul, which were conditions so deplorable and racism which ate at his heart. In 1972, the horrors that he saw would illuminate much of the theme of his very next novel, a memoir titled “The Water is Wide”.

The Water is Wide had gone on to be turned into a film that went by the name, “Conrack” in 1974, starring Jon Voight. When 1976 rolled around, Conroy wrote the novel, “The Great Santini”, which would quickly become one of his greatest works. The story is one that delves deeper into a past that continued to plague his memories and it centered on his combined emotions of anger, frustration and love that he had for his dad. The Great Santini became a hit film starring the widely respected Robert Duvall and Blythe Danner but not everything was roses during that particular period of his life. His marriage to his wife was ending and the same was occurring with his parents and other members of his family as well.

The Prince of Tides Era

In the 80’s, Pat Conroy continued to utilize many of his past experiences as inspiration for his future works. One such case is 1986’s “The Lords of Discipline” which focused on his tenure at Citadel and that same year we were introduced to Conroy’s most renowned and valued effort to date with “The Prince of Tides”. The motion picture became an instant classic, garnering several award nominations and sealing the stardom of Barbra Streisand and Nick Nolte. The novel had affected the public with it’s intense themes of abuse, starting over and redemption. Strong themes are throughout and when all is said and done, The Prince of Tides will be the novel to define Conroy.

More fantastic works came forward, novels like, “Beach Music” in 1995 and then another in 2003 with the release of his memoir, “My Losing Season”. In 2013, he decided to take on a project that was deeply meaningful for him and one that was a painful tribute to his hurtful past. The book was titled, “The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son”.

A Little About His personal Life

Conroy has been married on three separate occasions, once in 1969, which had ended in divorce in 1977 and another in 1981, ending in divorce again in 1995. It is his third marriage which appears to be the charm, when he married his writer wife Cassandra in 1998. He currently lives in Montana with his wife.

An Overview of His First Two Works

The Boo

The greatly entertaining memoir “Boo” was the very first book from the writer, which was written when Conroy was a new graduate in 1970. It is a solid collection of unique short stories, anecdotes and letters about the man he called “Boo”, the Lieutenant at the academy whom he respected dearly, Thomas Courvoisier.

Conroy truly saw the Lt. as a good friend and leader, he was a man who instilled a lot of passion for life, career and working hard to find your place in life. Many of the other cadets looked at Courvoisie as a father figure and for the entirety of his esteemed military career, he has garned admission in virtually everything that he ever did.

The Water is Wide

The Water is Wide is another great memoir that was released in 1972 and the central focus of the book was about his time as a teacher on Daufuskie Island in South carolina, also called “Yamacraw Island”. Even though the book is considered a memoir, many look to the book as being an actual novel.

The story regards a economically hurting community that is suffering from a void of infrastructure and it is a place that is completely without working bridges. The details of the story are about what Conroy went through to build communication with the locals on the island. The local residents happen to be descendants to many unfortunate recipients of slavery, who have never really had any real forms of communication to the outside world.

He does all he can to also connect with his students, whom are between the ages of 10-13, some of the particular students have troubles with illiteracy or they are innumerate. Much of it has to do with the fact that they have no real way to communicate with the outside world. An honest reflection that can never be missed and it’s a true Pat Conroy classic.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Pat Conroy

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