Books: The World According to Wingo the Prince of Tides

by Pat Conroy; Houghton Mifflin; 567 pages; $19.95

The prevailing literary wind this fall is from the Southeast. The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy's high-blown family saga of coastal South Carolina, began to stir interest in May at the American Booksellers Association convention in New Orleans. Introduced by Walter Cronkite, Conroy regaled publishing executives and retailers with funny stories about his career and family. With just the right amount of country-boy shuffle, he told how his father, a rough Marine Corps fighter pilot, and his mother, a genteel Georgia beauty, gave new meaning to the word incompatibility. Conroy reminded everyone that his father was the model for the eruptive...

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