Author Q&A: Stephen Goodwin

This is Stephen Goodwin–author of four previous books (including the acclaimed novel Breaking Her Fall), former director of the literature program at the National Endowment for the Arts, two-time president of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, and teacher at George Mason University.
Goodwin wrote Dream Golf, about the making of the golf course Bandon Dunes, the golf resort in Bandon, OR.  In the new edition, in stores now, he added a section on the creation of  the fourth golf course at Bandon Dunes, Old MacDonald, which just opened this month. Keep up with Stephen Goodwin at his blog, Dream Golf, where he writes about the new book, Bandon Dunes, and the new course Old MacDonald.

We asked him a few questions for our blog, and he happily obliged.

1. Describe your new book in one sentence.

The story of Bandon Dunes, America’s newest and most unusual golf mecca, and the people who created it.

2. Where do you do your best writing?

In my studio, with its view of trees, backyards, and passing trains.

3.  What is your motto or maxim?

Breathe deeply.

4.  Do you have any secret skills (besides writing, of course?)

It’s not a skill exactly, but I am an avid gardener, or farmer, and my half acre has fruit trees — apple, pear, and cherry — as well as a a vegetable garden (tomatoes, peas, carrots, arugula, peppers, eggplant, squash, zucchini), a herb garden, and a full range of old fashioned flowering plants (hydrangea, lily, roses, astilbe, hosta, ferns, spirea, boxwood, rhododendron, azaleas).

5.  Describe the plot of the first story you remember writing.

Soldiers are waiting to go into battle.  Their names are Curly, Joe, Bobby, and Mac.  They’re tense and sweaty inside the belly of the Trojan horse.

6.  If you had to change professions, and needed no credentials, what would you do?

I’d be a conservationist of some kind, trying to make sure that some part of our glorious planet stayed healthy.

7.  Which band would you like to have follow you around, playing the soundtrack to your life?

The Band.  They have been following me around most of my life (in a manner of speaking).

8.  Where do you hope to catch people reading your new book?


9.  What is your all-time-absolute-favorite book?

Once upon a time it was Cat’s Cradle.  Remember that?  Nice, nice, very nice.

10.  What books have you read recently that you’d recommend?

Sherman Alexie, War Dances. Anything by Jim Harrison. Consider the Lobster, David Foster Wallace.


One Comment On This Post:

July 14, 2013
2:27 pm
David Berman says...

Mr. Goodwin I’m assuming you are the author of a small piece written about fishing
on the River Kirkaig forty odd years ago. If so, I’d like very much to talk
with you about that experience. I have fished there too, thanks to you!
Best, David

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