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Pat Conroy at Madstone

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This Saturday, Madstone Theater will pay cinematic tribute to Pat Conroy, author of such bestselling books as The Prince of Tides and The Lords of Discipline. Conroy is currently promoting My Losing Season, his first work of nonfiction in 30 years. The book is an account of Conroy's not-very-illustrious basketball career, which culminated in a losing, but character-building campaign his senior year at The Citadel. Conroy's book is currently perched on the upper altitudes of the bestseller lists--at press time, it was ranked 20th on Amazon.com.

The South Carolina native will give a talk about the experience of seeing his novels turned into Hollywood films, in a 6 p.m. reception and Q & A session, that will be hosted by his old friend and Hillsborough resident Doug Marlette (Marlette's own recent feather-ruffler, The Bridge, has also been optioned by Hollywood, ostensibly as a possible Tom Cruise vehicle). Conroy's appearance will punctuate a day of movie screenings devoted to film versions of his novels.

At 1:45 p.m., Conroy's lifelong themes of reconciling the New South with the bad old South come to the fore in the day's first offering, the 1983 The Lords of Discipline, starring David Keith as a senior Citadel cadet who confronts the efforts of racist students to intimidate the school's first black student.

In something of a curatorial coup for event organizer Barbara Kingsbury, the 4 p.m. movie will be the rarely seen Conrack, a 1974 film starring Jon Voight and Paul Winfield. Directed by one-time blacklistee Martin Ritt (Hud, Sounder, The Front) the film is an adaptation of The Water is Wide, Conroy's memoir of teaching among South Carolina's Gullah population.

Wrapping things up at 8 p.m., after Conroy's appearance, will be a screening of The Prince of Tides, the 1991 Streisand-Nolte romance about a shrink and her patient who get very confidential. –David Fellerath

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