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I am very grateful for the outpouring of praise for my latest book my memoir about my life with Pat Conroy TELL ME A STORY. I’d like you all to know that I read everyone of them and the private messages. Until recently (about beginning of March 2020) I was on an extensive book tour where I tried to meet as many of you, my wonderful readers, as I could… Sadly, the world has taken a scary turn; my prayers are with all of you…
It made me want to learn more about Southern writers. Our daughter reconnected with college friend, Wiley Cash, at the festival. I saw high school friend, Jim Dodson, at a book signing a number of years ago. Our older daughter loves writing and has written a couple of books to reinvigorate teachers, and our younger daughter loves John Grisham and gave us Pat's South of Broad a few beach-reading summers ago. I plant to read many more now, and hopefully we'll re-watch Conrack.
I am a big fan of Wendell Berry.
We all read the love/controversial story of nearby Hillsborough written by my distant cousin and Pat's good friend, Doug Marlette. We met him at a book signing in Hillsborough when he signed his book to my aging mother with a sweet inscription.
My wife, like you, has a passion for learning about and teaching healthy eating, and like you has helped friends and family navigate cancer's torments.
Having played freshman football at Davidson, I was especially observant of the visiting Citadel basketball team in the Davidson dining room. What one would normally perceive as a disciplined and even grueling pace being on a basketball team at a well-regarded academic school and one with hard-nosed discipline, I sensed a liberated spirit among the jovial cadets in their grey uniforms. I'm looking forward to reading Pat's remembrance of those times.
Your paperback will be well worn by the time my wife and younger daughter read it and we send it back to our older daughter. At this time of giving thanks and gifts, your remembrance of your amazing love affair and the gift of Pat Conroy is deeply appreciated.
My daughter in law was visiting over the summer and mentioned that Prince of Tides was her favorite book of all time. I totally agreed with her. I felt that there were a few books of his that I hadn't read and set out to do so. I also felt that I would like to read one of your books as well, figuring if Pat Conroy liked your books, I would too! So I got two of his and two of yours. Once I saw you had written Tell Me A Story; I knew I would have to get that. I, of course, loved the Pat Conroy books that I had gotten. Then I read Tell Me A Story. It is just perfect. I read it and could see and hear everything as though I were there.
I wept at the end, just as I wept when I had heard that Pat died (the only time I've wept for an author passing.)
I related to your story about his voicemail on your phone and it's subsequent loss. I wish I had saved my grandmother's last voice message to me. All she would ever say was "Tina, call Gram", kind of sternly! If only I had known.... And as for losing a message; I had a sweet message from one of my granddaughters when she was three. I would listen to it over and over; it was that sweet. And the same as you; when my phone updated, it was lost. That granddaughter is now 11, still sweet but not that adorable, innocent sweetness that she had.
I also read The Queen of Broken Hearts - loved it and I WILL read more of your books! Thank you so much for writing Tell Me A Story. It brings tears to my eyes just think about it and the loss of a great writer. If I ever get back to Beaufort, I will definitely visit the Pat Conroy Literary Center.
We went to the Pat Conroy Literary Center, even stopped at his grave to pay our respects. Then I immersed myself in books I hadn't gotten to, including Tell Me A Story... Still a few more left. One of the greatest moments of my life was meeting your husband about 25 years ago when he spoke at the Asolo in Sarasota. He autographed our copy of Beach Music after spending a few minutes getting to know some details about us so that the inscription would be personal.
It reads, "To Art and Meg Durshimer: To the love of both the North and the South." When I die, I want that book cremated with me. Pat Conroy wasn't just a great author; he was a great human. The world needs more people like him. And you. Thank you for sharing your love story.
I look forward to the end of this pandemic in hopes that you might re-engage your public. It would be a delight to meet you.
And I have been reading the books of Ms. Frank and Ms. Monroe to add a bit of serious levity to my usual reading as a way of dealing with the Covid Lockdown, having been a teenager going to Sullivans and IOP during the pertinent times. .
I was so moved by Tell Me a Story, and I'm so grateful you wrote and shared it. Your compassion infused each page, whether you were recounting hilarious moments or heartbreaking ones.
I lost both my parents within three months of one another (my dad to pancreatic cancer). My mom, with one of her few but final pieces of advice said, "Have faith in yourself. And do what I would want you to do." She knew that faith in myself was often hard to come by, and following her guidance, even when she would no longer be there, would be easier.
I think your husband would have been so proud of your book. I'm glad he's in your writing room with you.
I had the great pleasure of meeting him once. I'd been a big fan for many years and was so excited to see him speak at an old church outside Chicago during his Death of Santini book tour. I am shy with those I admire, but I forced myself to stand in line for a signing after his talk. The line was long and I kept thinking he must be exhausted, and so I wanted to keep my comments to the very briefest when I met him.
When it was finally my turn, I approached hesitantly and mumbled something about how much I enjoy his work. Somehow I also mentioned that I like to write and that he'd been an inspiration.
He beamed at me and asked me about my writing. He took time to inscribe the book. I remember telling him that I liked his narration of My Reading Life. He said that he hated his own voice. I told him that I didn't, and that I could hear his voice while I read his work. I didn't want to keep him. I told him that he was a treasure and I thanked him. As I walked away, he called to me.
"Andy," he said. I turned. "Let me know if you get your book published. I'll remember you. I can be your first blurb."
Just like I didn't like finishing his books because they would be over (same with Tell Me a Story), I didn't want to read his inscription right away. I waited until I got home and sat down at my desk. You've probably seen the words he wrote before: "For the love of writing. Go deeper. Go even deeper." Those words stay with me always.
I did write up my encounter with him that very night and submitted it to a literary magazine that had published a couple of my stories. They had asked for a piece about me, and instead I told them about my meeting with your husband. I intentionally left out the part about the blurb, which might be my favorite part, for fear that if they published it and someone read it, they might bug him for a blurb. It was fun to read in your book about how much joy he derived from helping starting authors.
My essay was published, and if you'd like to read it, let me know.
I look forward to reading more of your work. Thank you so much,
I grabbed your book remembering it and thinking it had only been purchased maybe 6 months back. I was there for 7 weeks and now after returning to the beach, finished it only moments ago.
Shirley passed away October 1, 2014 after 42 and 1/2 years of marriage. We started dating for 2 and 1/2 years when she was 17. Before that we were the new kids at school with her family moving from Birmingham and mine from Richmond. We met and immediately became friends for two years before dating. Charles Martin's book, When Crickets Cry, was recommend to me by a councilor four years ago. It touched my heart. Yours did too. My story is different than yours, but in you telling yours, it helped move me further along. Thank you for sharing your story. It's beautiful.
We all grew up in the church. (I had two aunts who were Sunday Wives). I now have two authors whose books I cannot put down although I do not want them to end. Cassandra, you know who the other one is. Same Sweet Girls just arrived in the mail and seems like the logical next step. God bless you Cassandra King Conroy.
I was saddened and devastated to hear of his death. My own father died when I was four from pancreatic cancer.
Your book gave me a new perspective of the man and his life and I am so grateful you told your story! Thank you for the many laughs, along with your sorrows. I can’t imagine how hard it was to tell this story.
I’m on the way to my library to check out two of your books that are available now and I hope to read them all in the future!
Take care of yourself during this pandemic and I’m hoping we are all here to tell future generations about how we got through it together.
It is touching and heartfelt and in away soothing I hope for you it was for me. Keep writing what you know ! It is easy to forgive as time seems to make it easier, but hard to forget no matter how much time passes. Hopefully someday we’ll meet in Beaufort to say hello in passing through life’s adventure. Until then stay safe, healthy and keep writing. We all have stories to tell but some are told by great and unique people like yourself. Enjoy life