Gail Godwin was twenty-four years old and working as a waitress in the North Carolina mountains when she wrote: “I want to be everybody who is great; I want to create everything that has ever been created.” It is a declaration that only a wildly ambitious young writer would make in the privacy of her journal. In the heady days of her literary apprenticeship, Godwin kept a daily chronicle of her dreams and desires, her travels, love affairs, struggles, and breakthroughs. Now, at the urging of her friend Joyce Carol Oates, Godwin has distilled these early journals, which run from 1961 to 1963, to their brilliant and charming essence.
The Making of a Writer opens during the feverish period following the breakup of Godwin’s first marriage and her stint as a reporter for The Miami Herald. Aware that she is entering one of the great turning points of her life as she prepares to move to Europe, Godwin writes of the “100 different hungers” that consume her on the eve of departure. A whirlwind trip to New York, the passengers and their stories on board the SS Oklahoma, the shock of her first encounters with Danish customs (and Danish men)–Godwin wonderfully conveys the excitement of a writer embracing a welter of new experience.
After a long, dark Scandinavian winter and a gloriously romantic interlude in the Canary Islands, Godwin moves to London and embarks on the passionate engagements that will inspire some of her finest stories. She records the pleasures of soaking in the human drama on long rambles through the London streets–and the torment of lonely Sundays spent wrestling these impressions into prose. She shares her passion for Henry James, Marcel Proust, Lawrence Durrell, Thomas Wolfe–and her terror of facing twenty-six with nothing to show but a rejected novel and a stack of debts. “I do not feel like a failure,” Godwin insists as she sits down yet again to the empty page. “I will keep writing, harder than ever.”
Like Virginia Woolf’s A Writer’s Diary, Gail Godwin’s journals brim with the urgency and wit of a brilliant literary mind meeting the world head on. An inspired and inspiring volume, The Making of a Writer opens a shining window into the life and craft of a great writer just coming into her own.
From the Hardcover edition.
Share your thoughts on the The Making of a Writer Biography eBook with others!
|Title of eBook: The Making of a Writer|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||The Making of a Writer|
|Devices||Samsung Tablet, Apple Ipad & Iphone, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo eReader, Aluratek Libre, Iliad, Nokia, Blackberry, Hanlin|
|Note||ePub, short for electronic publication is one of our favorites and should be yours for a couple of reasons. ePub offers reflowable text giving you flexibility to manipulate how the content is presented. Moreover, lots of cool features are now being developed for the reader like advanced video and audio. ePub is now an industry standard, so all of the "non-propreitary" hardware manufacturers are now supporting it.|
The Making of a Writer
August 12, 1961
Tonight I think I worked physically harder than ever before in my life. Letter from steamship company. Will I really make it to Europe? God, I am going to have trouble sleeping tonight. I will be setting tables all night long. When I left the dining room—limp as a reed, physically exhausted to the point of sheer exhilaration—as soon as the wind cooled my sweat and I had heard a few notes of music from the dance band playing upstairs, I felt free and whole again, completely at ease with myself and confident that I could make it down the hill and just about anywhere else I want to go.
Write Glamour magazine. Retype “Lazarus”4 and “I Always Will.”5 Be independent, do your job, be involved in your duty.
Rewrote eleven pages of “Lazarus,” existed through two meals, and swam across the pool four times. I have saved $200. I have made about $400. Should be able to get another $200 before September 10 IF I REALLY WORK.
The bovines will attend Montaldo’s annual fashion show and the models will priss and primp—including [the owner’s] niece with the kinky
3. Mayview Manor, a 138-room hotel built of native chestnut wood and fieldstone, made Blowing Rock, North Carolina, a mecca for the rich when it was established in 1921. The hotel was closed in 1966 and demolished in 1978.
4. “The Raising of Lazarus,” an unpublished story, imagines a turning point in the life of a playboy. Godwin had begun it in 1959. Although it moves overdescriptively toward a safe endin