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Pat Conroy Literary Center – Beaufort, SC

On Thursday, June 18, at 5:30 p.m., the nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center will host a free public program with novelist Johnnie Bernhard, author of Sisters of the Undertow. Books will be available for sale and signing after the author’s presentation. Weather permitting, this event will be held on the plaza in front of the Conroy Center at 905 Port Republic Street in downtown Beaufort.

The author event will also be livestreamed on the Conroy Center’s Facebook page and made available on the Center’s YouTube channel afterwards.

Bernard will also be teaching a writing workshop, What It Takes to Be an Author, offered through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at USCB from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. on June 18. This workshop is available to all OLLI members through

Website: Facebook Event Page

Sisters Kim and Kathy Hodges are born sixteen months apart in a middle-class existence parented by Linda and David Hodges of Houston, Texas. The happy couple welcomes their “lucky daughter” Kim, who is physically and mentally advanced. Following several miscarriages, Linda delivers “unlucky” Kathy at twenty-nine weeks, ensuring a life of cognitive and physical disabilities. Kathy enters public school as a special education student, while Kim is recognized as gifted. Both sisters face life and death decisions as Houston is caught in the rip current of Hurricane Harvey. Kim learns the capricious nature of luck, while Kathy continues to make her own luck, surviving Hurricane Harvey, as she has survived all undertows with the ethereal courage of the resolute.



“Johnnie Bernhard has become one of the South’s finest writers. Sisters of the Undertow is a book you can’t and won’t put down, a story of sisterhood, love, and loss.”–Allen Mendenhall, Southern Literary Review

“Bernhard writes with such humanity and genuine care for her characters that it’s hard to leave them on the page. In her latest novel Sisters of the Undertow, sibling rivalry between two very different sisters impacts the course of their lives, as storms swirl both inside and outside. I think we all feel swept up in an undertow sometimes, and Bernhard gives up something to hope for amid the wreckage.”–Erin Z. Bass, Deep South Magazine

“Bernhard pierces the soul of sisterhood, revealing the poignant paradox that familial love does not always come naturally, but it always comes. Sisters is a heart-wrenching yet triumphant story about conquering your fate and learning to play the cards you were dealt.”–Galveston Monthly

About Johnnie Bernhard
A former teacher and journalist, Johnnie Bernhard is also the author of the novels A Good Girl and How We Came to Be. Her work has also appeared in University of Michigan Graduate Studies Publications, Heart of Ann Arbor Magazine, Houston Style Magazine, Southern Writers Magazine, The Texas Review, Southern Literary Review, and in the anthologies Writers on Writing, The Pulpwood Queens Celebrate Twenty Years, and Katrina Memories.

This program and others like this would not be possible without your financial help for which, as always, Pat Conroy Literary Center gratefully thanks you.
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