Those of you who’ve been reading my blog for any length of time already know that Pat Conroy is my all-time favorite author. Meeting him a few years ago is one of the greatest moments of my literary life. Now his wife, Cassandra King Conroy, has honored us by sharing the story of their married life. I feel both humbled and very grateful.
Cassandra King Conroy is an established and best-selling novelist in her own right. She’s written several award-winning novels that include THE SUNDAY WIFE which is my personal favorite. Cassandra was actually married to a preacher at one time. So she certainly knows of what she writes.
Cassandra King met Pat Conroy in 1995 at a literary event in Alabama where Cassandra lived. Their relationship was almost strictly by phone for a while. They actually began dating in 1997 but the traveling between South Carolina where Pat lived to Alabama quickly became old. So in 1998 they married, both were divorced and over fifty. Cassandra moved to South Carolina and has been living there ever since. They were married for eighteen years before Pat succumbed to pancreatic cancer a few years ago. Between them they each wrote five books during their marriage.
When asked recently by Suzanne Van Atten of Atlanta Magazine about how she is coping with life after Pat’s death, Cassandra says,
” I keep thinking, okay, one of these days, this is going to get better. I never want to tell recent widows, but, it’s been three years since Pat died, and it seems like yesterday. I think maybe it’s because I’m still here, where he was. I see him walk in the house. I see him where he would usually be waiting. He would come down the stairs to greet me when I’d been out of town, or he’d be back in his room. And I’d stick my head in to tell him I was back. I see him everywhere. We have this beautiful creek here, and it looks like the cover of a Pat Conroy novel. Everyday, there are reminders. “
Those words speak volumes about the relationship between Pat and Cassandra. I loved hearing about their passion for food, books, literature and the Lowcountry. Pat Conroy led a pretty tumultuous life before marrying Cassandra. He definitely found peace with his King Ray. (his pet name for Cassandra)
Rick Bragg says TELL ME A STORY is deep and moving and funny.
Mary Alice Monroe says, TELL ME A STORY is the best memoir she’s read.
This book is her tribute to her larger-than-life Prince of Tides, her husband, Pat Conroy. He passed away from the horrors of pancreatic cancer in 2016 at the age of seventy. It’s hard to believe there will be no more wonderful novels from Pat.
I met Pat Conroy one night in Miami when he spoke to a large audience of around 1000 avid readers and fans. He made all of us laugh and cry with his stories about his family. And he stayed and signed his books until every last book was signed.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Cassandra King Conroy, for allowing us into the inner circle of your amazing life with Pat Conroy!
Cassandra King Conroy still lives in Beaufort, South Carolina where she is honorary chair of the Pat Conroy Literary Center. I look forward to reading her next novel.
My review copy of TELL ME A STORY was provided by William Morrow, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers. What a great gift for the holidays. I loved it!
I have wonderful news! Copperfish Books will be hosting an afternoon with Cassandra King Conroy on Monday, January 13th between 3 and 5. We are thrilled. You will have a rare chance to meet the author at Twin Isles Country Club in Punta Gorda and enjoy a glass of wine or tea and delicious appetizers. Truly an enchanting opportunity. Of course your ticket price includes a copy of TELL ME A STORY.
You can purchase your ticket online or at Copperfish Books. Don’t diddle daddle because these tickets are for the hottest event of the season. You can also just call the store at 941-205-2560. Hope to see you there.
We have copies at Copperfish Books. Come on in and get yours now. They are discounted 20%. I hope to see you soon.