An exclusive Authorlink AUDIO Interview with the author of Unfinished Desires, 
and 12 other bestselling works
(Random House 2010)
February 2010


Unfinished Desires by Gail Godwin
Unfinished Desires

(Random House, 2010)
ISBN: 9780345483201

BookBites (Audio Interview)
Length: About 15 minutes



Gail Godwin, bestselling author
Award-winning novelist, Gail Godwin

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Gail Godwin, three-time National Book Award finalists and bestselling author of twelve critically aclaimed novels, talks frankly to about her long career and about her deepest challenges as an author, painter, and writer of musical works with composer Robert Starer. She urges new writers to "fail again and again–and then fail better." She also advises them to listen to their own inner voice.

Here, she discusses the difficulties and triumphs of developing her 13th novel, Unfinished Desires, a gripping tale of jealousises and power struggles in a Catholic girl's school in the small mountain town of North Carolina.

Unfinished Desires is a complex and deeply affecting story of friendship, loyalty, redemption, and memory. The ninth grade class of Mount St. Gabriels, an all girls Catholic School, is strong willed (some might say "notorious"). Leading the pack is the unforgettable Tildy Stratton, the undisputed queen bee of the class, who quickly befriends Chloe Starnes, a day student recently taken in by her uncle following her young mother's mysterious death. The passionate friendship fills a void for each girl, and the headstrong Tildy soon has Chloe and the whole class enacting her vision for a play based on the colorful founding story of the school.

What happens the night of the play will profoundly affect the course of many of the lives involved, including that of the girls' teacher, a young nun, as well as the school's matriarch, Mother Suzanne Ravenel.

Gail Godwin's novels include A Mother and Two Daughters, Violet Clay, Father Melancholy's Daughter, Evensong, The Good Husband, and Evenings at Five. She is also the author of The Making of a Writer: Journals, 1961–1963, the first of two volumes, edited by Rob Neufeld. She lives in Woodstock, New York. Learn more about Gail at

–Doris Booth

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