Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Queen of the Underworld

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Queen of the Underworld

by Gail Godwin

Queen of the Underworld by Gail Godwin X
Queen of the Underworld by Gail Godwin
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2006, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2007, 368 pages

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Gail Godwin published her first novel, The Perfectionists, in about 1970; since then she's produced 12 novels and a number of short stories, plus her first volume of memoirs. Her second, and I believe final, volume of memoirs will be published next year and will cover the years 1963-1970. She is also working on a novel, The Red Nun.

In an interview, Godwin reveals some of the experiences that inspired Queen of the Underworld, and also explains why she didn't feel compelled to do any field research while writing it:
"During the two years I was writing Queen of the Underworld, I could hardly wait to get to my computer. I loved being 22 and hungry again, with a 22-inch waistline, so desperate to succeed and equally terrified I might fail. The tension was a stimulant. And I loved re-locating myself in the seductive Miami scene. People said, "Don't you think you ought to fly down to Miami and sort of brush up on the locale?" I said, "That's the last thing in the world I want to do: I want the Miami of 1959 and how I felt, and all those people coming into town who thought they would be back home in Cuba by the end of the summer." Read the interview in full.

This article is from the January 18, 2006 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.

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