PAT CONROY AMERICA'S MOST BELOVED STORYTELLER -- IS BACK!
I was born to be a point guard, but not a very good one. . . .There was a time in my life when I walked through the world known to myself and others as an athlete. It was part of my own definition of who I was and certainly the part I most respected.
The popular novelist of such books as The Prince of Tides and Beach Music establishes himself as the Homer of sweat socks in this memoir of a collegiate basketball season. For the rest of Conroy's teammates, The Citadel's 8 17 record in 1966 1967 made it a season best forgotten, but the author remembers it as an odyssey of hardwood heroics, Olympian fortitude and larger-than-life adversaries, with the occasional temptations of a coed siren. Despite flashes of insight into the sport he loves (along with clues to the autobiographical underpinnings of his fiction), the bulk of Conroy's self-important prose can be as difficult to penetrate as a zone defense. "I wore the memories of that season like stigmata or a crown of thorns," intones the author, after earlier admitting that "the games are fading on me now where once they imprinted themselves, bright as decals, on the whitewashed fences of memory." If only Conroy had taken seriously the question posed by a newspaper editor who responded to a thirteen-page letter Conroy sent him during his senior year: "Have you ever thought about writing with economy and restraint?"