Freedom of speech is crucial both to a healthy democracy and the life of the mind. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits Congress from any act that would abridge it and the charters of most of our colleges and universities recognize that freedom of thought and speech are essential to a healthy academic community.
Ask almost any American writer today for a list of his or her literary idols, and Frank Conroy’s name usually rises near the top.
The author of one of the best books of our age, Stop-Time, published in 1967, as well as the director of the greatest incubator of literary talent ever assembled, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Conroy was as close to legend as any living writer gets.
Not to mention a Grammy winner—for best liner notes.
Despite a rough beginning, he made the most of a life that ended last week, when he died at age 69 of colon cancer.