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A collection of Pat Conroy quotes about books, writing, discipline, teacher, traveling, life, success, failure, love

100 Pat Conroy Quotes That Will Always Live In Your Memory

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Despite experiencing a traumatic childhood, some people overcome the bad memories of their life and take it as a source of inspiration to perform better in life. Pat Conroy, born as Donald Patrick Conroy was one such personality and inspired us with his writing. He was a renowned American author and wrote 14 novels and memoirs that were heavily inspired by his brutal childhood. He experienced difficulties with his own father, who was a sadistic fighter plane pilot. His father hit his mother and mercilessly abused Pat and his siblings to inculcate discipline. After completing his graduation from The Military College of South Carolina, he worked as a teacher in Beaufort. Conroy refused to inflict corporeal punishment on young students. Consequently, he was fired but this didn't deter his motto. He raised his voice against physical torture through his books-- the Price of Tides, The Lords of Discipline, the Great Santini and his memoir My Losing Season. Though he's criticized for being long-winded and purplish but his fans are moved by his naked emotionalism and inspiring ideas projected in his book. He was perhaps the most recognized figure of 20th century Southern Literature. His work was revived on the silver screen through Donna Musil's award-winning documentary Brats: Our Journey Home. Even though the writer is gone, we remember him through his quotes that will continue to inspire and move all of us. We have excerpted Pat Conroy's most popular quotes from his famous books and writings. A collection of Pat Conroy quotes just for you!

You get a little moody sometimes but I think that's because you like to read. People that like to read are always a little fucked up.

- The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy

Happiness is an accident of nature, a beautiful and flawless aberration.

- The Lords of Discipline, Pat Conroy

Music could ache and hurt, that beautiful music was a place a suffering man could hide.

- Beach Music, Pat Conroy

Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.

- Pat Conroy

Without music and dance, life is a journey through a desert.

- Pat Conroy

I don’t know why it is that I have always been happier thinking of somewhere I have been or wanted to go, than where I am at the time. I find it difficult to be happy in the present.

- Beach Music, Pat Conroy

A story untold could be the one that kills you.

- Pat Conroy

I’ve never had anyone’s approval, so I’ve learned to live without it.

- The Great Santini, Pat Conroy

My wound is geography. It is also my anchorage, my port of call.

- The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy

I could bear the memory, but I could not bear the music that made the memory such a killing thing.

- Beach Music, Pat Conroy

Fantasy is one of the soul's brighter porcelains.

- Beach Music, Pat Conroy

When mom and dad went to war the only prisoners they took were the children

- Pat Conroy

We set down feasts for each other and treated our love with tongues of fire. Our bodies were fields of wonder to us.

- Beach Music, Pat Conroy

Here is all I ask of a book- give me everything. Everything, and don't leave out a single word.

- My Reading Life, Pat Conroy

Her laughter was a shiny thing, like pewter flung high in the air.

- Beach Music, Pat Conroy

These are the quicksilver moments of my childhood I cannot remember entirely. Irresistible and emblematic, I can recall them only in fragments and shivers of the heart.

- The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy

Anyone who knows me well must understand and be sympathetic to my genuine need to be my own greatest hero. It is not a flaw of character; it is a catastrophe.

- The Lords of Discipline, Pat Conroy

The only word for goodness is goodness, and it is not enough.

- The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy

Rape is a crime against sleep and memory; it's afterimage imprints itself like an irreversible negative from the camera obscura of dreams.

- The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy

Man wonders but God decides When to kill the Prince of Tides.

- The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy

She was one of those Southerners who knew from an early age that the South could never be more for them than a fragrant prison, administered by a collective of loving but treacherous relatives.

- The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy

Men are prisoners of their genitalia and women are the keepers of the keys to paradise.

- Beach Music, Pat Conroy

Carolina beach music," Dupree said, coming up on the porch. "The holiest sound on earth.

- Beach Music, Pat Conroy

But even her demons she invested with inordinate beauty, consecrated them with the dignity of her attention.

- The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy

There is no teacher more discriminating or transforming than loss.

- My Losing Season: A Memoir, Pat Conroy

A family is one of nature's solubles; it dissolves in time like salt in rainwater.

- The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy

But no one walks out of his family without reprisals: a family is too disciplined an army to offer compassion to its deserters.

- Beach Music, Pat Conroy

There are no ideas in the South, just barbecue.

- The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy

Writing poetry and reading books causes brain damage.

- Beach Music, Pat Conroy

He was one of those rare men who are capable of being fully in love only once in their lives.

- The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy

I'd be a conservative if I'd never met any. They're selfish, mean-spirited, egocentric, reactionary, and boring.

- Beach Music, Pat Conroy

Some things don’t mix. Some things don’t mix at all, but sometimes in life you have to take the risk.

- The Lords of Discipline, Pat Conroy

A library could show you everything if you knew where to look.

- My Reading Life, Pat Conroy

Walking the streets of Charleston in the late afternoons of August was like walking through gauze or inhaling damaged silk.

- Pat Conroy

Writing is the only way I have to explain my own life to myself.

- My Reading Life, Pat Conroy

I stood face to face with the moon and the ocean and the future that spread out with all its bewildering immensity before me.

- Pat Conroy

It's impossible to explain to a Yankee what `tacky' is. They simply have no word for it up north, but my God, do they ever need one.

- The Lords of Discipline, Pat Conroy

Know this. I think you could be special if you only thought there was anything special about yourself.

- My Losing Season: A Memoir, Pat Conroy

I had come to a place where I was meant to be. I don't mean anything so prosaic as a sense of coming home. This was different, very different. It was like arriving at a place much safer than home.

- The Lords of Discipline, Pat Conroy

In families, there are no crimes beyond forgiveness.

- The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy

I lived with the terrible knowledge that one day I would be an old man still waiting for my real life to start. Already, I pitied that old man.

- The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy

Like everything else, love's not worth much without some action to back it up.

- Beach Music, Pat Conroy

Honor is the presence of God in man.

- The Lords of Discipline, Pat Conroy

My soul found ease and rest in the companionship of books.

- Pat Conroy

Because she deserved my tears if anyone on earth ever did. I could feel the tears within me, undiscovered, and untouched in their inland sea. Those tears had been with me always.

- Beach Music, Pat Conroy

Evil would always come to me disguised in systems and dignified by law.

- The Lords of Discipline, Pat Conroy

Love's action. It isn't talk and it never has been.

- Beach Music, Pat Conroy

She had so mastered the strategies of camouflage that her own history had seemed a series of well-placed mirrors that kept her hidden from herself.

- Beach Music, Pat Conroy

I was the only person in the world who thought it was a military duty to appear to be in a good mood.

- The Lords of Discipline, Pat Conroy

A story is a living thing, it moves and shifts...

- Pat Conroy

We've pretended too much in our family, Luke, and hidden far too much. I think we're all going to pay a high price for our inability to face the truth.

- The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy

The English language on her tongue became a smoke-screen, without her eyes changing expression in the least.

- Beach Music, Pat Conroy

Losing prepares you for the heartbreak, setback, and the tragedy that you will encounter in the world more than winning ever can. By licking your wounds you learn how to avoid getting wounded the next time.

- Pat Conroy

Except for memory, time would have no meaning at all.

- Beach Music, Pat Conroy

I was trying to unravel the complicated trigonometry of the radical thought that silence could make up the greatest lie ever told.

- South of Broad, Pat Conroy

...I realize words are never enough; they stutter and cleave to the roof of my mouth.

- South of Broad, Pat Conroy

My mother's voice and my father's fists are two bookends of my childhood, and they form the basis of my art.

- My Reading Life, Pat Conroy

Time moves funny and it's hard to pin down. Occasionally, time offers you a hundred opportunities to do the right thing. Sometimes, it gives you only one chance.

- South of Broad, Pat Conroy

Cameras are a lifesaver for very shy people who have nowhere else to hide. Behind a lens they can disguise the fact that they have nothing to say to strangers.

- Beach Music, Pat Conroy

I would always be a better hater of things and institutions than a lover of them.

- The Lords of Discipline, Pat Conroy

In Charleston, more than elsewhere, you get the feeling that the twentieth century is a vast, unconscionable mistake.

- The Lords of Discipline, Pat Conroy

You do not learn how to write novels in a writing program. You learn how by leading an interesting life. Open yourself up to all experience. Let life pour through you the way light pours through leaves.

- My Losing Season: A Memoir, Pat Conroy

I realized early that unless you're willing to kill the innocent, you can't win.

- The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy

The fruit tasted foreign but indigenous, like sunlight a tree had changed through patience.

- The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy

There were far worse strategies in life than to try to make each aspect of one's existence a minor work of art.

- The Lords of Discipline, Pat Conroy

One can learn anything, anything at all, I thought, if provided by a gifted and passionate teacher.

- Beach Music, Pat Conroy

Good coaching is good teaching and nothing else.

- My Losing Season: A Memoir, Pat Conroy

There are no verdicts to childhood, only consequences, and the bright freight of memory.

- The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy

It did not look like the work of God, but it might have represented the handicraft of a God with a joyous sense of humor, a dancing God who loved mischief as much as prayer, and playfulness as much as mischief.

- South of Broad, Pat Conroy

The pursuit of greatness means that laziness has no place in your life.

- Beach Music, Pat Conroy

She had awakened something in him that had slumbered far too long. Not only did he feel passion, he felt the return of hope.

- Pat Conroy

Love had always issued out of the places that hurt the most.

- My Losing Season: A Memoir, Pat Conroy

Paranoia has a sharper taste if the danger is real.

- Beach Music, Pat Conroy

Perfect doesn't just mean happy. Perfect can have lots of different parts. - Niles.

- South of Broad, Pat Conroy

Her view of men was one-dimensional, but not inaccurate: men were prisoners of their genitalia and women were the keepers of the keys to paradise.

- Beach Music, Pat Conroy

I take it as an article of faith that the novels I've loved will live inside me forever.

- My Reading Life, Pat Conroy

Humanity is best described as inhumanity.

- South of Broad, Pat Conroy

My soul grazes like a lamb on the beauty of an indrawn tide.

- The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy

The human soul can always use a new tradition. Sometimes we require them.

- The Lords of Discipline, Pat Conroy

They succeeded not only in making me normal but also in making me dull .

- The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy

He treated the stars as though they were love songs written to him by God.

- South of Broad, Pat Conroy

Scarlett (O'Hara) taught that one could be hungry and despairing, but not broken and not without resources, spiritual in nature, that precluded one from surrendering without a fight

- Pat Conroy

Violence send deep roots into the heart, it has no seasons, it is always ripe, evergreen.

- The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy

And I was glad she had the camera as a fence to protect herself, an excuse to be invisible. Cameras are a lifesaver for the very shy people who have nowhere else to hide.

- Beach Music, Pat Conroy

The body's a funny thing. It's so full of surprises that it makes conventional wisdom seem silly.

- Beach Music, Pat Conroy

The most powerful words in English are, "Tell me a story.

- My Reading Life, Pat Conroy

The tide was a poem that only time could create, and I watched it stream and brim and makes its steady dash homeward, to the ocean.

- South of Broad, Pat Conroy

The mind is an intricate mechanism that can be run on the fuels of both victory and defeatism.

- The Lords of Discipline, Pat Conroy

Take the local, take the express, don't get off till you reach success -- Sidney Rosen (Prince Of Tides)

- The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy

The whole construct of my universe was a cunning, entangled network of lies. I had to start over again. I knew that. And I had to begin by ceasing to loathe myself for my difference from the rest.

- Lords of Discipline-V1, Pat Conroy

Hurt is a great teacher, maybe the greatest of all.

- My Reading Life, Pat Conroy

The water was pure and cold and came out of the Apennines tasting like snow melted in the hands of a pretty girl.

- Beach Music, Pat Conroy

I lit a cigarette and began puffing on it as I drank one quick beer after another. I was neither a drinker nor a smoker nor a fighter, but I had planned to be all three on this day.

- The Lords of Discipline, Pat Conroy

I became one of those anonymous Americans who tries to keep his mind sharp and inquisitive while performing all the humiliating rituals of the middle class

- The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy

A man's only got so many yeses inside him before he uses them all up.

- The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy

Words are pretty, but anyone can talk. Pay attention to the people who perform.

- Beach Music, Pat Conroy

I've always admired people who give accurate directions, and the tribe is small.

- South of Broad, Pat Conroy

In our modern age, there are writers who have heaped scorn on the very idea of the primacy of story. I'd rather warm my hands on a sunlit ice floe than try to coax fire from the books they carve from glaciers.

- My Reading Life, Pat Conroy

I was born in the age of "alas".

- South of Broad, Pat Conroy

...Father made a fetish out of performing tasks the correct way. There was an efficiency and economy of his motions that I always found a pleasure to watch and a pain to mimic.

- Pat Conroy