Pat Conroy–in my view, the finest American contemporary writer–has cancer. He made the following announcement on his Facebook page:
“I have recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. With the help of the wonderful people at M.D. Anderson I intend to fight it hard. I am grateful to all my beloved readers, my friends and my family for their prayers. I owe you a novel and intend to deliver it.”
Last summer, he told the Washington Post he had recently finished a YA novel with his daughter Melissa and was working on a new novel about Charleston.” Conroy noted as well in his post: “I celebrated my 70th birthday in October and realized that I’ve spent my whole writing life trying to find out who I am and I don’t believe I’ve even come close. It was in Beaufort in sight of a river’s sinuous turn, and the movements of its dolphin-proud tides that I began to discover myself and where my life began at fifteen.” In a separate statement, Doubleday added: “He is receiving excellent care and support from his doctors. The Conroy family asks for privacy at this time as Pat fights this challenging illness with the same spirit of courage that has forged his writing career. Pat and his family are enormously grateful to all of his readers for their prayers and good wishes.”
Pat is a national treasure. I hope and pray for his complete recovery and look forward to reading many new gems created by this incredibly talented gentleman.