Thursday, February 9, 2017

My review of Pat Conroy's A Lowcountry Heart

Pat Conroy is revered for evocative use of language to spin personal troubles into story gold. His own life shows up in his novels, but we learn from his letters and essays in A Lowcountry Heart, that readers’ threads also got fed into his golden spinning wheel. They told him their stories when they met him at book signings. And you won’t be three chapters into A Lowcountry Heart before you begin wondering what you would have told him if he had asked you, “What’s your story?”

A Lowcountry Heart: Reflections on a Writing Life is fitting tribute to the late great Pat Conroy and thoughtful reflections for any writer. The journal entries chosen for this anthology also would intrigue an avid reader, because Conroy comments on many books and authors. The collection includes some of Conroy’s speeches as well as a few homages written by associates of Conroy’s during his life.

One downside for me was that the mention of so many famous people made me tired and curious how an author with the solitary task of writing produced so many books while keeping up with so many dear friends. Pat Conroy had described himself as “obnoxiously friendly,” so that explains a lot.The upside of all his name dropping was that I got to read some great anecdotes about his friendships.

Throughout this anthology, Conroy’s love for his South Carolina lowcountry transports the reader to the area that was the lifeblood of Pat Conroy and his books.

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