Library of Congress

National Book Festival

After graduation, Gail Godwin worked as a reporter for The Miami Herald, which inspired her novel "Queen of the Underworld." She then traveled to Europe, working for the U.S. Travel Service at the U.S. Embassy in London. These years are documented in Volume 1 of "The Making of a Writer" (Volume 2 is scheduled for publication this year). In 1967 she was accepted into the Writers' Workshop program at the University of Iowa.  Along with John Irving and John Casey, she studied with Kurt Vonnegut. Her Ph.D. dissertation was published in 1970 as her first novel, "The Perfectionists." Three of her novels were National Book Award finalists and five of them were New York Times best-sellers. She has also written musical works (with her since-deceased companion Robert Starer). Godwin has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and two National Endowment for the Arts grants, one for fiction and one for libretto writing. Her latest book is "Unfinished Desires" (Random House). She lives in New York.

Previous National Book Festival Appearances

Gail Godwin

Photo by Beth Bliss