The Late Santini

In his latest memoir, Pat Conroy comes to terms with his famously militant father.

The Late Santini
Pat Conroy

If one were to choose the characters in modern fiction least likely to find redemption in the end, The Great Santini—from Pat Conroy’s novel of the same name—would be at the top of the list. Conroy based the character of Santini on his own father, a heartlessly sadistic disciplinarian whom Conroy hated quite passionately.

Surprise. In his latest memoir, The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son, Conroy describes a father who, infuriated by the public depiction of him as a heartless monster, sets out to prove that his son was wrong about him. The book chronicles the remarkable turnaround in the estranged relationship between Conroy and his father, especially as the elder Conroy approached death.

The book comes out on October 29, so Kerri Miller’s November 12 interview with Conroy for Talking Volumes will be about as timely as it gets. Weighing in at 352 pages, the book is short by Conroy’s standards, but fans are still going to have to put in some time on the couch to read it before the event. It’s sold out, but you can hear it afterward at Minnesota Public Radio’s website, minnesota.publicradio.org on The Daily Circuit.