Pat Conroy's 1986 novel, The Prince of Tides, is the story of a dysfunctional family living in South Carolina. This story is told by Tom Wingo, whose twin sister, Savannah, attempts suicide. It is said that his real-life sister refused to speak to him for years after the book was published.
His stories reflect his own life experiences. Family members have been greatly upset by the material in his books.
A New York Times bestselling author, Donald Patrick Conroy was born on October 26, 1945 in Atlanta, Georgia, the first of seven children.
Due to his father's career as a Marine Corps pilot, the family moved often. As a result, Pat attended many different schools, finally attending (because his father insisted) Citadel Military Academy in Charleston, South Carolina. It was while he was there that he began his writing career, writing and publishing his first book, The Boo.
He taught English after graduation, and once accepted a job teaching underprivileged children. He was fired after a year for "unconventional teaching practices" which included his refusal to allow corporal punishment of students.
He wrote of that experience in his book, The Water is Wide, published in 1972.
A favorite storyteller, he is a writer unafraid to take on the painful truths of experiences that can - and do - shatter human lives.
If it's true that "we're only as sick as our secrets", then we may very well be encouraged to heal our own issues as we read how he bravely exposes the sickest secrets of the characters in his books.