Gail Kathleen Godwin is an American novelist and short story writer. She has published one non-fiction work, two collections of short stories, thirteen novels, three of which were finalists for the National Book Award and five of which have made the New York Times Bestseller List. She has also published two volumes of her journals under the title, The Making of a Writer.
Godwin was born in Birmingham, Alabama and raised in Asheville, North Carolina by her mother, Kathleen Krahenbuhl Godwin Cole, and grandmother, Edna Rogers Krahenbuhl. She attended St. Genevieve-of-the-Pines from 2nd through 9th grades, before her mother married Frank Cole, and they moved for his job. She attended Peace College in Raleigh, North Carolina from 1955 to 1957, and graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1959. She worked briefly as a reporter for the Miami Herald, and then traveled to Europe and worked worked for the U.S. Travel Service at the U.S. Embassy in London. She returned to the U.S. after six years, and attended the University of Iowa, earning her M.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and PhD in English Literature. While at the University of Iowa, she signed a contract with Harper & Row for her first novel, The Perefectionists. In 1976, Godwin settled in Woodstock, N.Y., with composer Robert Starer, her companion until his death in April 2001.