• Laurel Contributor

The Amazing Cassandra King

by Jenny King

As an avid reader, I love discovering new-to-me authors, especially those who have written several books.

So when I spoke with Hudson Library’s Carlyn Morenus about November’s article, I was thrilled to learn about author Cassandra King, who will be at the library Tuesday, November 26, for their “Books and Bites.”

She’s an award-winning author of five novels, a book of nonfiction, numerous short stories, magazine articles, and essays. She has taught creative writing on the college level, conducted corporate writing seminars, and worked as a human interest reporter.

She is also the wife of the late Pat Conroy. Surely you must know him and his many works such as, “The Prince of Tides,” “The Great Santini,” “Beach Music,” and many more.

For this final Books and Bites of the year, King will be discussing her newest book, “Tell Me A Story” about her life with Conroy, who died in 2016. In this poignant, intimate memoir, the woman he called “King Ray” looks back at her love affair with a natural-born storyteller whose lust for life was fueled by a passion for literature, food, and the Carolina Lowcountry that was his home.

According to her publisher, Cassandra King was leading a quiet life as a professor, divorced “Sunday wife” of a preacher, and debut novelist when she met Pat Conroy. Their friendship bloomed into a tentative, long-distance relationship. Pat and Cassandra ultimately married, partly because Pat hated the commute from coastal South Carolina to her native Alabama.

As she reflects on their relationship and the 18 years they spent together, Cassandra reveals how the marshlands of the South Carolina Lowcountry ultimately cast their spell on her, too, and how she came to understand the convivial, generous, funny, and wounded flesh-and-blood man beneath the legend, her husband, the original Prince of Tides.

At the time of this writing, the book hasn’t been released yet, so I wasn’t able to read it but instead, found “Moonrise” by King, which is set in Highlands. I love reading novels that are set in places with which I am familiar and “Moonrise” mentions people and locations in Highlands that I knew. It was a fun read with lots of great character development.

All of King’s books are available to patrons of the library and they will have her newest work for sale during her book talk. Books and Bites is supported by the Hudson Library Board of Trustees.

As you make your plans for Thanksgiving week, leave room to meet this prolific author on Tuesday, November 26, at 12:30 P.M. Come to the Hudson Library early, because it’s sure to be Standing Room Only.

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