Books by Gail Godwin

FLORA by Gail Godwin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 7, 2013

"Unsparing yet compassionate; a fine addition to Godwin's long list of first-rate fiction bringing 19th-century richness of detail and characterization to the ambiguities of modern life."
Godwin (Unfinished Desires, 2009, etc.) examines the intricate bonds of family and the enduring scars inflicted by loss. Read full book review >
THE MAKING OF A WRITER, VOLUME 2 by Gail Godwin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 4, 2011

"Sure to interest Godwin's constant readers, but others may wish for future volumes written by a more mature writer."
The sentimental education of now-eminent novelist Godwin (Unfinished Desires, 2010, etc.). Read full book review >
UNFINISHED DESIRES by Gail Godwin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 29, 2009

"A strong story populated by a host of memorable characters—smart, satisfying fiction, one of the author's best in years."
After a couple of subpar efforts, Godwin (Queen of the Underworld, 2006, etc.) is back in top form with a gripping tale of jealousies and power struggles at a Catholic girls' school. Read full book review >
EVENINGS AT FIVE by Gail Godwin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2003

"Intimate and touching, albeit not revelatory."
A woman faces the void in her life and home after the death of her longtime companion. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 2001

"Though not really much more than a commonplace book of the author's personal fascinations, many readers will dip into this appealing grab-bag with pleasure and sometimes surprise."
Bestselling novelist Godwin (Evensong, 1999, etc.) stitches an intimate sampler of the ways we humans have imagined acts of the heart through time and across cultures. Read full book review >
EVENSONG by Gail Godwin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 1999

In a satisfying sequel to Father Melancholy's Daughter (1990), Godwin contemplates family ties, the prickly bonds of marriage, and the varieties of religious faith. Read full book review >

THE GOOD HUSBAND by Gail Godwin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

A dying academic, an oblivious house husband, a self-centered Southern writer, and a grieving ex-editor suffer much angst in Godwin's (Father Melancholy's Daughter, 1991, etc.) latest domestic drama — a meditation on marriage in which the prose is always supple but also more than a little dull. Read full book review >

FATHER MELANCHOLY'S DAUGHTER by Gail Godwin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 18, 1990

Godwin continues her probes into the chimeric stuff of family bonds—bonds within which old passions and deceits and people and affections can tower into myth. Read full book review >

A SOUTHERN FAMILY by Gail Godwin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 2, 1987

"A "slow march" (Clare's expression) of meditations in voices that sound somewhat similar (except for Snow's tangier diction), brightened by Godwin's acute sense of people paralyzed by circumstances—this is thoughtful chipping away at one family's crystalline certainties and disparate dreams."
Although centered on a violent murder/suicide that takes place early on, this is essentially a meditative, multi-voiced examination of the guilts, prides and lonely accommodations to social class and family myth-making—matters also addressed in A Mother and Two Daughters (1982)—among members of an unhappy North Carolina family immobilized under "layer upon layer of debilitating resentments and intrigues." Read full book review >
THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES, 1985 by Shannon Ravenel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 1, 1985

"Apart from the Banks, though, little is memorable here."
Though nothing dramatically robs you of breath in this year's selection, Godwin has welcomely restored an element missing from recent roundups: sex. Read full book review >
MR. BEDFORD AND THE MUSES by Gail Godwin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1983

"In sum: luminous fictions, full of quiet, patiently earned discoveries."
In one very short novel and five short stories, Godwin continues to monitor—with a kind of wary bemusement—the fascinating whorls and asocial display of personalities lost within their own outsize needs and dilemmas. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Sept. 1, 1981

"Other than these few standouts—a well-intentioned undertaking with more social than literary interest."
Conceived at the 1979 Frankfurt Book Fair, the idea behind this jointly-published (in nine countries) anthology of stories by women is to show—according to an anonymous preface—how "The experience of women in the emancipation process of the seventies has been reflected not only in political developments but in literature as well." Read full book review >
MOTHER AND TWO DAUGHTERS by Gail Godwin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 8, 1981

"With rich, full portraits, seamless philosophic musings, and loamy village humor—a major novel from a talented writer really hitting her stride."
Broadening and deepening the speculations on personal destiny and societal straitjackets touched upon in Violet Clay (1978), Godwin now offers her best work yet: a striking triptych of three contemporary women-in-transit—whose lives "continue to bounce off one another, adding new evidence. . . ." Read full book review >
VIOLET CLAY by Gail Godwin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 16, 1978

"Godwin's quick, amusingly sharp-tongued narrative assigns the feminist slant to a rich undertone rather than an overlay, making this a bright, but not uncompassionate scoring of the corrosive, self-pitying dramas we block out for ourselves when we live our lives as bad fiction."
Flashbacks at the ready, artist Violet Clay—thirtyish, jobless, broke, drinking heavily in her Manhattan digs—broods over life and Art as she sketches her latest freelance assignment in Gothic book jackets: "over two hundred women running away from houses." Read full book review >
DREAM CHILDREN by Gail Godwin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 1975

"Gail Godwin once again maintains her cool equidistance between intellect and feeling and the stories are all most attractive—detailed with expertise and frosted with elegance."
Gail Godwin's fifteen stories, to loosely categorize them, are all of a piece. Read full book review >
THE ODD WOMAN by Gail Godwin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 30, 1974

"Gail Godwin achieves a collaboration of the mind and the heart in a novel of experience which can enlarge our own via one of the most appealing young women of many seasons."
After all these assertive maidens and housewives, Gail Godwin's The Odd Woman—her major work to date—is very different—just like Jane Clifford, a plain Jane, unfashionable, odd—both single and singular. Read full book review >
GLASS PEOPLE by Gail Godwin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1972

"By no means as substantial a book as The Perfectionists (1970) but to be enjoyed for the very attractive distraction that it is."
A seductively accessorized short novel about beautiful people who live both too perfectly and quite imperfectly — Cameron Bolt, DA en route to the California Attorney Generalship, and his flawlessly lovely Francesca who is increasingly anomic. Read full book review >
THE PERFECTIONISTS by Gail Godwin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 20, 1970

"She has written a novel which is a considerable attractant—original in its situation, astute in its insight and quite impeccably styled."
Miss Godwin has written a first novel which takes its place immediately alongside of the emancipated entertainments of say Penelope Mortimer. Read full book review >