Gail Godwin: “I allied myself with the typewriter. I found I could be anybody.”

From The Writer’s Almanac:

It’s the birthday of novelist Gail Godwin, born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1937. She’s the author of many books, including The Odd Woman, The Finishing School, The Good Husband, and Grief Cottage.

She was raised by her mother, who worked as a newspaper reporter and wrote romance novels on the weekends while Godwin’s grandmother did all the cleaning and cooking. Godwin later said: “Already, at five, I had allied myself with the typewriter. . .If you were faithful to your vision at the typewriter, by lunchtime you could make two more characters happy — even if you weren’t so happy yourself.”

Her first big success was the novel A Mother and Two Daughters. . . . It was the first book that Godwin had written from multiple points of view. She said: “For a long time I was influenced by … the idea that there could only be one center of consciousness. Suddenly I found I didn’t care anymore. I found I could be anybody, could enter fully into them.” A Mother and Two Daughters became a best-seller. Her book Publishing: A Writer’s Memoir came out in 2015.

Godwin said: “I work continuously within the shadow of failure. For every novel that makes it to my publisher’s desk, there are at least five or six that died on the way.”

Speak Your Mind