Monday, June 30, 2008

Daufuskie Island, Pat Conroy, Peace Corps & Wordsmith's Books

The photographs shown here are of the Mary Fields School located on Daufuskie Island, South Carolina. It was here that (Georgia) author Pat Conroy taught between 1969-1970. He later turned his experiences on Daufuskie into the 1972 autobiographical novel, The Water is Wide. The book was later made into the 1974 feature film Conrack (the name Conroy’s students gave him), starring Jon Voight.


The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy (1986), maybe Mr. Conroy’s best-known book.

The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy (1980), another autobiographical novel, this one about the author’s time as a cadet at The Citadel. This book contains the best description of a southern forest at night that I have ever read.

The Great Santini by Pat Conroy (1976). You end up hating Santini’s guts, really. Still, you want to keep reading, and you end up maybe not hating his guts quite so much.

The Water is Wide by Pat Conroy (1972). I bet that I have sold a hundred copies of this book over the past ten years. I like recommending it to education students and new teachers in particular. It is also one of the titles that I most recommend to prospective Peace Corps volunteers, particularly those going in to service to teach. My wife and I are both former Volunteers (Mali and Albania, respectively).

Speaking of the Peace Corps, Wordsmith’s Books in Decatur, Georgia will be hosting a Peace Corps information session tonight at 7 p.m. It seems appropriate that a bookstore would host a Peace Corps event, especially considering the role that books play in most Volunteer’s experiences. Also, the Peace Corps has quite a reputation for churning out writers. Paul Theroux and Kinky Friedman are examples.

For a more extensive list of Peace Corps writers (there are several hundred) and their works, visit Peace Corps Writers on the web at

Also, visit the Peace Corps at for the official view of things.


Power Lines: Two Years on South Africa's Borders by Jason Carter (2002 by National Geographic). Former Peace Corps Volunteer, Georgia author, and grandson of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter discusses his Peace Corps service in South Africa during the late 1990’s. Back in July of 2002, your humble blogger had the honor of introducing Mr. Carter during his appearance on C-SPAN’s Book TV.

Finally, congratulations to Wordsmith's Books in Decatur (Georgia's biggest and newest indie book store) on their one-year anniversary earlier this month. Shendet!


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