“Published Prosperity: Gail Godwin’s Writer’s Memoir,” by Kerstin W. Shands

Essay by Kerstin W. Shands Journals and memoirs are both self-narratives, but they are written from different viewpoints and for different reasons. Gail Godwin’s journals from the 1960s, The Making of a Writer, take us back to a present when no one could know how things would turn out and before Godwin herself could be […]

“Unpublished Prosperity: Gail Godwin’s Journals of Apprenticeship,” by Kerstin W. Shands

Essay by Kerstin W. Shands We may think of great writers as fully fledged—born with astonishing powers of perception and creation. Surprisingly, however, research suggests that creativity can be learned and developed, in which case great writers might not be so different from the rest of us after all. Before any kind of breakthrough, they […]

“Craft and Conviction: Gail Godwin’s History of the Heart,” by Kerstin W. Shands

Essay by Kerstin W. Shands Gail Godwin’s Heart: A Natural History of the Heart-Filled Life stems from a moment in time when Godwin had just re-read Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. She had been thinking about a new novel regarding “a woman’s journey into a heart of darkness where she would have to confront her shadow” […]

“Friends in Writing: Bloomian Jealousies in Gail Godwin’s Old Lovegood Girls,” Essay by Kerstin W. Shands

Essay by Kerstin W. Shands A new novel by Gail Godwin is a treat. To enter the literary world created by Godwin is like stepping into a pleasant townhouse where spacious, sun-dappled rooms open up on the first floor. Then you notice that there are stairs, too, that may lead to other, more complex, secret, […]

Karen Corinne Herceg Interviews Gail Godwin

I see a landscape opening out, and I sense I can do anything I need to do if I take my time and let the way lead me forward. – Gail Godwin On an early spring day this past April, I met with acclaimed, bestselling novelist Gail Godwin at her home in the historic town […]

August Read of the Month: “Old Lovegood Girls,” by Gail Godwin

  Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Gail Godwin is a Southern treasure who is both critically acclaimed and commercially successful, counting five best-sellers and three finalists for the National Book Award among her many novels. Born in Alabama, raised in North Carolina, and educated at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (and later […]

“Hints of Impermanence: Ghosts and Orphans in Gail Godwin’s Grief Cottage,” by Kerstin W. Shands

Essay by Kerstin W. Shands Gail Godwin’s new novel Grief Cottage (2017) is set in coastal South Carolina, an area rich in history, legend, and tradition. Evoking a real place and a real environment, Pawleys Island and the Isle of Palms, this novel introduces us to Grief Cottage, a profoundly charged site, a metaphorical rendezvous […]

“Performing Atonement: Regret, Responsibility, and Redemption in Gail Godwin’s ‘Flora,'” by Kerstin W. Shands

Essay by Kerstin W. Shands There is no person so severely punished, as those who subject themselves to the whip of their own remorse. (Seneca) There are things we can’t undo, but perhaps there is a kind of constructive remorse that could transform regrettable acts into something of service to life.  (Godwin 1)   Wistfully […]