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Pat Conroy has been writing about his family for forty years, but always with a wispy protective veil of literary license. Devoted fans who have relished every fictional breadcrumb while speculating about the depth of the real-life Conroys’ dysfunction have been waiting a long time for his latest book, The Death of Santini.
In his interview with Teresa Weaver, Pat Conroy says: "The great thing about all my siblings is we all agree we had a horrendous childhood. It’s not like it doesn’t affect us now; it affects us every day, in everything we do. We were all beaten, ruined children. And we’ve made the best deal we can with that."
Looking back, I can see that I made many mistakes in the field during my rookie season as a novelist. The writing of the book had taken an emotional toll on me that included a breakdown months before the book was in the stores. I had done almost no preparatory work on my family, no plowing the fields to ease their way into a country they did not realize was their native land.