The Water Is Wide (book)

The Water Is Wide is a 1972 memoir [1] by Pat Conroy and is based on his work as a teacher on Daufuskie Island, South Carolina, which is called Yamacraw Island in the book. The book is sometimes identified as nonfiction[2] and other times identified as a novel.[3]

The Water Is Wide
First edition (Houghton Mifflin)
AuthorPat Conroy
CountryUnited States
PublisherRandom House

Yamacraw is a poor island lacking bridges and having little infrastructure. The book details Conroy's efforts to communicate with the islanders, who are nearly all directly descended from slaves and who have had little contact with the mainland or its people. He struggles to find ways to reach his students, ages 10 to 13, some of whom are illiterate or innumerate, and all of whom know little of the world beyond Yamacraw. Conroy (called "Conrack" by most of the students) does battle with the principal, Mrs. Brown, over his unconventional teaching methods and with the administrators of the school district, whom he accuses of ignoring the problems at the Yamacraw school.[4]

A film adaptation, titled Conrack, was created in 1974, starring Jon Voight.[5] A Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie titled The Water Is Wide, starring Jeff Hephner and Alfre Woodard, was made in 2006.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Random House
  2. ^ Minzesheimer, Bob (2002-10-18). "Conroy looks back at his 'Losing Season'". USA Today. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  3. ^ Fries, Laura (2006-01-25). "Review: "The Water Is Wide"". Variety. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  4. ^,4386027&hl=en "The Stars of The ater is Wide"
  5. ^ "Conrack - Details". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved May 30, 2019.