The Life and Works of Pat Conroy

Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts

Friday, 8:00-10:00

Cassandra King Conroy, Rick Bragg and other friends and family will gather to pay a tribute to bestselling and beloved author Pat Conroy as the Keynote event at the 2016 Atlanta-Journal Constitution Decatur Book Festival Presented by DeKalb Medical. Family and friends will share special memories of Conroy and read favorite passages from his many books, including Melissa Conroy, Ron Rash, and Bronwen Dickey.


Rick Bragg

Rick Bragg is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of All Over but the Shoutin', Ava's Man, and The Prince of Frogtown. Bragg, who has written for numerous magazines, including Sports Illustrated and Food & Wine, was a newspaper reporter for two decades, covering high school football for the Jacksonville News and, among other topics, Islamic fundamentalism for The New York Times. He has won more than 50 significant writing awards, in books and journalism, including, twice, the American Society of Newspaper Editors Distinguished Writing Award. A graduate of Jacksonville State University, Bragg was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. Bragg is currently Professor of Writing in the Journalism Department at the University of Alabama, and lives in Tuscaloosa.

Melissa Conroy

Melissa Conroy was born in the South Carolina Lowcountry, and every summer she returns with sketchbook in hand. She has master’s degrees from the University of Georgia and Philadelphia University in painting and textile design, and a BFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design. Currently she lives in Philadelphia with her husband, daughter, and son. She is a part-time faculty member in the Textile Design Department at Philadelphia University.

Bronwen Dickey

Bronwen Dickey is a contributing editor at the Oxford American. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, Slate, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Best American Travel Writing 2009, Newsweek, Outside, and Popular Mechanics, among other publications. In 2009 she received a first-place Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award and a MacDowell Colony residency grant. She lives in North Carolina.
Cassandra King

Cassandra King, award-winning author of five novels, a book of nonfiction, numerous short stories, magazine articles, and essays, is a native of L.A. (Lower Alabama). Her first novel, Making Waves, has been through numerous printings since its release in 1995. Her USA Today and NY Times bestselling second novel, The Sunday Wife, was a People magazine Page-Turner, a South Carolina’s Readers Circle choice, named as one of Book Sense’s top reading group selections, and chosen by the Nestle Corporation for a national campaign promoting reading groups. The Same Sweet Girls, also a NY Times bestseller, was a number one Book Sense selection on release. Both novels were nominated for SIBA’s Book of the Year award. Moonrise was a SIBA Okra Pick and bestseller, as was The Same Sweet Girls Guide to Life: Advice from a Failed Southern Belle. She resides in the low country of South Carolina.

Ron Rash

Ron Rash is the author of the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Finalist and New York Times bestselling novel Serena, in addition to five other novels, including One Foot in Eden, Saints at the River, The World Made Straight, and Above the Waterfall; five collections of poems; and six collections of stories, among them Burning Bright, which won the 2010 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, Chemistry and Other Stories, which was a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award, and, most recently, Something Rich and Strange. Twice the recipient of the O. Henry Prize, he teaches at Western Carolina University.