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Pleasant last words from a highly regarded author who loved his life.

A collection of blog entries by the late, beloved novelist, along with a miscellany of speeches, interviews, and writings by and about him.

When Conroy (The Death of Santini, 2013, etc.) died on March 4, 2016, he was apparently less than 200 pages into his next novel, not enough for an editor or collaborator to complete for posthumous publication. The best of this celebratory volume serves his memory well, showing why legions of fans and fellow writers felt so strongly about him. As fellow Southern writer Rick Bragg notes, in one of the few pieces by others that merit inclusion, “I just know he was different from others at the top of his craft, different in his generosity.” That generosity of spirit and conversational engagement permeate Conroy’s writing here, even more than they do his novels. Where other writers merely endure book tours, he plainly enjoyed the chance to meet his readers, to hear their stories, and occasionally even connect with someone from his past. “If any writer in this country has collected as fine and passionate a group of readers as I have,” he writes, “they’re fortunate and lucky beyond anyone’s imagination.” Each woman he describes is more beautiful and irresistible and finer in character than the last. His fellow writers humble him with how bold and prolific and eloquent and insightful they are. His great teachers imparted lessons he has never forgotten. His friends were friends for life. He frequently returns to the topic of “Carol, my beloved sister,” who quit speaking to him after she felt he violated her privacy in his fiction. Though he considered the word “blog” to be “the ugliest word to emerge out of the ‘wired’ universe so far,” he thrived within its open-letter format, beginning most with “Hey, out there,” and concluding “Great love….” These hold together in a long first section, making the second section feel padded with odds and ends.

Pleasant last words from a highly regarded author who loved his life.

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-385-53086-6

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Nan A. Talese

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2016

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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