The influence of Pat Conroy upon my life is as deep as it is wide. What P.D. James did for crime fiction from the sixties onward, Conroy did for Southern fiction.
Conroy presents a world that is wild and raw, one that captures copious levels of fallenness and brokenness as a field in which the human spirit seeks to rise above such terror. Yes, there is swearing in his books. Yes, there is violence. If you can't fathom an author using that in their work and demand such thematic material consigns like literature to the ash heap of the banned, maybe you're the one with the problem. Of course, there is some "literature" that can never be redeemed and should be ignored (e.g., Fifty Shades of Grey and its pathetic sequels), but ignore it if you must. Banning is a separate set of parameters.
Eight years ago, Conroy wrote the following piece in response to a mad rush to ban two of his novels in a West Virginia public school district. As I couldn't say it any better than Conroy would, I simply ask you to link to his statement here.
And if you have any thoughts or responses, let's have a conversation!