In this powerful and intimate memoir, the beloved
bestselling author of The Prince of Tides
and his father, the inspiration for The
Great Santini, find some common ground at long last.
Pat Conroy’s father, Donald Patrick Conroy, was a towering
figure in his son’s life. The Marine Corps fighter pilot was often brutal, cruel,
and violent; as Pat says, “I hated my father long before I knew there was an
English word for hate.” As the oldest of seven children dragged from military
base to military base across the South, Pat bore witness to the toll his father
took on his siblings and especially on his mother, Peg. She was his lifeline to
a better world, the world of books and culture, and despite the serial
confrontations with his father Pat managed to claw his way towards a life he
hardly could have imagined as a child.
Pat’s great success as a writer has always been intimately
linked with his family life. While the publication of The Great Santini brought Pat much attention, the public rift it
caused with his father generated more attention still. Their long-simmering conflict
burst into the open, fracturing an already battered family even further. But as
Pat tenderly chronicles here, even the oldest of wounds can heal. In the final
years of his life, Don Conroy and his son reached a rapprochement of sorts.
Quite unexpectedly, the Santini who had freely doled out backhanded slaps
targeted his ire on those who had turned on Pat over the years. He defended his
The Death of Santini
is a heart-wrenching account of personal and family struggle, and a poignant
lesson in how ties of blood can both strangle and offer succor. It is an act of
reckoning, an exorcism of demons, but one whose ultimate conclusion is that
love can conquer even the meanest of men. Download and start listening now!