30

MONDAY

“SHIT—SHIT—SHIT…It is Sunday and I haven’t scratched the surface. I am beginning to think that I am a trite person with trite ideas. My damnation is to consider myself & my ideas unique.” Sing it, sister! What writer hasn’t felt exactly as Gail Godwin did on March 10, 1963, as she worked to transform the experience of her father’s suicide into the story “Mourning”? Published simultaneously with a new novel, Gail Godwin: The Making of a Writer, Journals, 1961–1963 is richly footnoted by editor Rob Neufeld, who illuminates how Godwin distilled experience into fiction. As does Godwin herself: Three weeks after the entry above, she was able to report, “I thought I hadn’t done any work, but I counted the sheets of yellow paper & somebody did six thousand words while I was in despair.” Godwin speaks at 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Janet Hopf)