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Pat Conroy: “South of Broad” long-time coming


Pat Conroy’s first book in 14 years, “South of Broad,” comes out Aug. 11. Here’s a sneek peek at Gina Webb’s review, which appears Sunday in Living & Arts:

Now, in his first book in 14 years, the one-and-only prince of tides himself returns to his old haunts, this time promising—in a dazzling prologue — that “everything I now reveal to you will be Cha>rleston-shaped and Charleston-governed and sometimes even Charleston-ruined.”

Ahh, ruined! That’s the Pat Conroy we know and love. And it’s no idle threat. “South of Broad” is a lavish, no-holds-barred performance by a writer who, in full possession of his strengths and flaws, explodes on stage with another bravura, irresistibly poignant attempt to resurrect his old demons — suicide, mental illness, child abuse, and the rage and pain left in their wake — and to save the characters who are menaced by them.

But for many Conroy fans, meeting the cast of “South of Broad” will feel like a family reunion, because the gang’s all here: The orphaned mountain siblings; the Hollywood star; the suicidal brother; the suicidal wife; the drunken, abusive father; the beautiful, distant mother — and, of course, the gentlemanly, articulate narrator of the whole complicated, heart-breaking, bigger-than-life mess.

One comment Add your comment

Alex

August 4th, 2009
2:19 pm

I remember when Conroy’s last book, Beach Music, came out, there was a line wrapped twice around Oxford Books in Buckhead when he did a signing there. Sigh. I still miss Oxford Books.