April 3, 2003 (Thursday)
4:15 p.m. Informal Seminar
Recital Hall, PAC
UAlbany, Uptown Campus
8:00 p.m. Reading
Page Hall, 135 Western Ave
UAlbany, Downtown Campus
A three-time National Book Award nominee, Gail Godwin is renowned for her portraits of modern women, many of them from the American South. Her newest novel is Evenings at Five (April, 2003), the story of a couple and their 'happy hour' ritual of sharing not only drinks, but also a love of language and music (she is an author, he a composer). After thirty years, the husband unexpectedly dies and the wife must make sense of her new life without him.
"With words alone, Gail Godwin has created an important piece of music about a love which death can only increase and deepen." - Kurt Vonnegut
"Gail Godwin has written a book about the heaviest matters of loss, grief, and loneliness with a touch so light that I was as often deeply amused by it as I was deeply moved. She has breathed her own breath into these pages, and they are alive with her life." - Frederick Buechner
Gail Godwin is the author of many critically acclaimed novels, two collections of short stores, and a book of nonfiction. The Village Voice states, "More than any other contemporary writer, Gail Godwin is (reminiscent) of 19th century pleasures, civilized, passionate about ideas, and ironic about passions. Her characters--sensible, intelligent women all--have houses, histories, ghosts; they comfortably inhabit worlds both real and literary, equally at home in North Carolina, Greenwich Village, and the England of 'Middlemarch'." Godwin focuses on the female search for identity and she gives her characters the free will to make choices and take responsibility.
In her most recent work of nonfiction, Heart: A Natural History of the Heart-Filled Life (2002), Godwin takes the reader on a breathtaking journey that spans human history, myth, art, and religion in order to understand how humans have conceived of the heart through time.
Born in Alabama, Godwin wrote her first novel, The Perfectionists (1970) as a Ph.D. thesis in English at the University of Iowa. The novel tells the story of a disintegrating 'perfect' marriage while the couple is on vacation in Majorca. Godwin has thrice been named a National Book Award Finalist: in 1975 for The Odd Woman, in 1980 for Violet Clay and in 1983 for A Mother and Two Daughters. The last book, a comedy of manners about three adult women coping with love and loss, made it to number one on The New YorkTimes Bestseller List.
Gail Godwin Home Page|
Writers Online Magazine Article