““Bernie Schein is the funniest man alive, or so he has dogmatically maintained during the burdensome decades I have known him. . . [He is] by turns hysterically funny, wildly neurotic, uniquely sensitive, and heartbreakingly honest.””
– Pat Conroy
For Pat Conroy fans, a loving, laughter-filled homage to a loyal, big-hearted friend.
I am pleased to share with you Pat Conroy: Our Lifelong Friendship (Arcade Publishing; hardcover; September 3 rd , 2019)
by Bernie Schein.
Pat Conroy, the bestselling author of The Prince of Tides and The Great Santini among many other books, was beloved by millions of readers. Bernie Schein was his best friend from the time they met in a high-school pickup basketball game in Beaufort, South Carolina, until Conroy’s death in 2016. Both were popular athletes but also outsiders as a Jew and a Catholic military brat in the small-town Bible-Belt South, and they bonded.
Wise ass and smart aleck, loudmouths both, they shared an ebullient sense of humor and romanticism, were mesmerized by the highbrow and reveled in the low and would sacrifice entire evenings and afternoons to endless conversation. As young teachers in the Beaufort area and later in Atlanta, they were activists in the civil rights struggle and against institutional racism and bigotry. Bernie knew intimately the private family story of the Conroys and his friend’s difficult relationship with his Marine Corps colonel father that Pat would draw on repeatedly in his fiction.
A love letter and homage, and a way to share the Pat he knew, this book collects Bernie’s cherished memories about the gregarious, welcoming, larger-than-life man who remained his best friend, even during the years they didn’t speak. It offers a trove of insights and anecdotes that will be treasured by Pat Conroy’s many devoted fans.
Now Available for Pre-Order:
Praise for Pat Conroy:
“The friendship between Bernie Schein and Pat Conroy was long, deep, and all-encompassing. Bernie tells of it with fierce love, great particularity, and often the outrageous wit that makes him Bernie and no one else. Viva Bernie Schein for giving us his Pat Conroy.”
—Anne Rivers Siddons, author of The Girls of August and Up Island
“No one is more uniquely qualified to write about his friendship with my late husband, Pat Conroy, than his oldest and closest friend, Bernie Schein. Because they shared the same irreverent humor, biting intellect, and big-hearted personalities, their bond was powerful enough to survive the many turmoils and betrayals that came their way. Bernie’s portrayal of his decades-long relationship with Pat is intimate, honest, heartbreaking, and highly readable. This book is an ode to a rare, complex, and loving friendship.”
—Cassandra King Conroy, author of Tell Me a Story: My Life with Pat Conroy and The Sunday Wife
“No one on earth has the experience, the humor, and the heart to write about friendship with Pat Conroy with more authority than his best friend (and occasional enemy) Bernie Schein. Anyone who knew Pat heard so many Bernie stories that they wondered if he was an actual person or a figment of the ever-fertile Conroy imagination. As it turns out, he was both. Their childhood friendship, which began in a small Southern town in the Cold War, spanned wars, marriages, fame, and infamy and too many books to name. You can’t really say you’re a Pat Conroy reader if you haven’t read the story from Bernie’s profane and profound, and deeply loving perspective.”
—Janis Owens, author of American Ghost
Branch Library Event Tuesday, October 27, 2015 at 1:00pm Beaufort Branch Library, 311 Scott Street, Beaufort, SC 29902 Meet Bernie and rattle your funny bone with his stories of growing up and living in Beaufort, serving both as a teacher and an Administrator in...
Not only are “TRIGGER POINTS” censorship, they’re bullying. Most kids are dying to find out who they really are, inside. They want to know who they were so they can find out who they are. I remember thinking that back when I was in sixth grade, because I was short...
About the Author
Bernie Schein was born, bred, and Bar Mitzvahed in Beaufort, South Carolina. He was an educator for forty-five years, for many of them in Atlanta. He is the author of three books, has been published and featured in numerous newspapers and magazines, and interviewed on NPR and radio stations across the country. He is now an educational consultant as well as a humorist and raconteur. He and his wife live in Beaufort, South Carolina.