BEAUFORT, S.C. – Pat Conroy was more than 150 pages into a new novel, titled “Aquarius,” when he died, and it will eventually be published.
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“It’s really good,” Conroy’s longtime editor and publisher, Nan A. Talese of Doubleday, said after Conroy’s visitation Monday night.
The novel focuses on a boy and his mother who live in the servant’s quarters of a grand house. It involves the Vietnam War.
The 153 pages Conroy had turned into his editor are “in much better shape” than the working drafts of previous novels she worked with him on. It’s possible there may be more.
“They found a few more pages on his computer,” Talese said. “We’ll publish it eventually.”
Talese and her husband, renowned literary journalist Gay Talese, were among the hundreds of people who attended Monday’s viewing at a Beaufort funeral home. More are expected at the funeral.
“Just seeing so many people around here proves he was loved by all,” she said.
Indeed, the line snaked through the funeral home and out the door. A chalkboard sign urged well-wishers to keep their condolences brief so that the family could receive everyone who turned out in tribute.
In his final blog and social media post, revealing he’d been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Conroy promised to fight and keep working.
“I owe you a novel and I intend to deliver it,” he vowed.
It appears that he will keep that promise.