Pat Conroy has always sought refuge in books. As a child growing up in a military family, Conroy learned from his mother that books could be his constant companions as the family shuttled from Marine base to Marine base.
"What I remember about her, from the very earliest time of my life, is her reading to me," Conroy tells NPR's Scott Simon. "She had a great tone, a warm style, a terrific Southern accent. She read us lots of poetry ... I can still hear her voice."