MY LOSING SEASON by Pat Conroy
Publisher Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, October 2002
In 1954, in Orlando, Florida, nine-year-old Pat Conroy discovered the
game of basketball. Orlando was another new hometown for a military kid
who had spent his life transferring from one home to another. He was yet
again among strangers, still looking for his first Florida friends, but
when the “new kid” got his hands on the ball, the course of his life
changed dramatically. From that moment until he was twenty-one, the
future author defined himself through the game of basketball.
In MY LOSING SEASON, Conroy takes the reader through his last year
playing basketball, as point guard and captain of the Citadel Bulldogs.
Flashing back constantly to the drama of his coming of age, he presents
all the conflict and love that have been at the core of his novels.
Conroy vividly recreates his senior year at that now-famous military
college in Charleston, South Carolina, but he also tells the story of
his heartbreaking childhood and of the wonderful series of events that
conspired to rescue his spirit.
In the 1966-67 season, the Citadel basketball team enjoyed a few
victories and suffered a string of defeats, but their true triumphs came
when the team pulled together and played the kind of joyous basketball
that exceeded the sum of the players’ individual talents. And their true
humiliations came at the hands of their disciplinarian coach, who
counted on the fear and cowering obedience he inspired in his young
players to carry the day on the court. In young Conroy, the coach’s
intimidations also inspired an odd, crouching form of love that echoed
his relationship with his own fearsome father.
And so, without the safeguard of fiction, America's ultimate storyteller
turns to the story of his own boyhood. With poignancy and humor Conroy
reveals the inspirations behind his unforgettable characters, pinpoints
the emotions that shaped his own character as a young boy, and
ultimately recaptures his passage from athlete to writer.
See the picture of
Pat's Citadel basketball team