For thirty years, Frank Conroy's commentaries on life, music, and writing have appeared regularly in the New York Times Magazine, Harper's Magazine, Esquire, and GQ. DOGS BARK, BUT THE CARAVAN ROLLS ON collects these pieces into an autobiography in journalistic snapshots. They evoke Conroy's southern childhood, his teen years in New York as a truant hanging out at pool halls and Harlem jazz clubs, his first glimmers of the power of language and the writing life in college, his romantic life, and his experiences as a teacher and as director of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Here, too, are profiles of the musicians he has come to know -- and jammed with: Keith Jarrett, Wynton Marsalis, Peter Serkin, even the Rolling Stones.New essays fill out the collection from Conroy's wry retrospective viewpoint. DOGS BARK, BUT THE CARAVAN ROLLS ON is imbued with the honesty, humor, and insight that made his memoir STOP-TIME a classic.
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Yes, this book was a revelation to me. I am a writer wannabe, a pretender to the mantel of nonfiction writing. While I was searching blindly through the literature to find myself, my voice, perhaps an inspiration, I heard Frank Conroy interviewed on Michael Feldman's radio program on NPR. Conroy was talking about this very book. I was intrigued, I was interested. I went out, I bought the book. I read, and I learned, in the most pleasurable way possible. I was in the hands of a good writer, one that is able to carry me through his narrative and make his point with clarity and humor. I learned about jazz, about music in general. I learned about the Iowas Writers Workshop, what they are trying to do and how they are trying to do it. It was, alas, a short book, but it made me a more knowledgable person. It made me appreciate life. It made me excited about things I never thought I would be interested in, and I am excited about writing. What more can you ask for from a book?more